A Maple Grove man with a history of drunken driving struck another vehicle in early February, causing its 12-year-old passenger to suffer such severe brain damage that he hasn't regained consciousness.
Robert P. Tollefson Jr., 47, was charged Friday in Hennepin County District Court with two counts of criminal vehicular operation and one count of driving while intoxicated.
He was charged via arrest warrant in the Feb. 5 crash and was not in custody as of Friday afternoon.
"During a search of [Tollefson's] Jeep Cherokee, officers located a mostly empty bottle of vodka on the driver's side floorboard, an empty bottle of vodka in the glove compartment and an empty bottle of vodka and an empty can of beer in the trunk," the charges said.
The driver of the car Tollefson struck lost consciousness in the crash and suffered several injuries. The driver's son was in the rear driver's side and suffered brain swelling that required surgery and removal of part of his skull.
According to the complaint: The victim, a 44-year-old man, was pulling out of a gas station about 7 a.m. and was eastbound on Bass Lake Road when he was struck from behind.
The crash occurred at Bass Lake Road and Louisiana Avenue in New Hope on a snowy and ice-covered roadway.
A witness told police that Tollefson caused the crash and struck the victim's vehicle with enough force to send Tollefson's Jeep airborne.
Tollefson was conscious at the scene, but his speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot, the charges said. His blood-alcohol content later allegedly tested at .233, almost three times the legal limit of .08.
The other driver suffered multiple injuries, including a large cut on the back of his head that required seven staples to close. His son suffered fractures to his leg and jaw in addition to the brain injury. Their names were not immediately available through the New Hope Police Department.
Tollefson was convicted of drunken driving in 2013.
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708