An allegedly drunken driver hit a car to his right on a highway south of Princeton, killing the other driver and fleeing before being persuaded to return, according to charges filed Monday.
Kyle C. Flor, 23, of Zimmerman, was charged in Sherburne County District Court with one count of criminal vehicular homicide and two counts of criminal vehicular operation in connection with the crash that occurred shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday on southbound Hwy. 169 at NW. 305th Avenue.
Flor was arrested that afternoon and remains jailed pending a court hearing.
The Honda's driver, Kelvin O. Gomez-Landero, of Honduras, did not survive the crash, the State Patrol said. His passengers, 36-year-old Walter R. Maradiaga, of Bloomington, and 26-year-old Luis F. Rubio Briceno, residence unknown, were hospitalized with injuries that were not life threatening.
Flor and his passenger, Lukas G. Backlund, 21, of Princeton, Minn., were not hurt, the patrol said.
Court records in Minnesota show that Flor's criminal history includes convictions for underage liquor possession, careless driving and speeding.
According to the charges:
Troopers arrived and saw a vehicle off the highway to the right, where it had struck several trees. The car ended up on its side with its roof sheared off. Gomez-Landero's body was on the ground in front of the car.
Flor, upon returning to the scene, told a deputy that he didn't notice the Honda before he signaled and moved to the right lane. He denied knowing there was a collision and continued driving toward his home. He said he learned of the crash from a witness who followed him.
Under further questioning by a trooper, Flor said he had come from Princeton Golf Course, where he drank one beer and a mixed drink. He said the clutch on the car slipped, sending his vehicle sideways. Flor said that has happened before, so he kept going.
The trooper detected a strong odor of alcohol from Flor, who was given a preliminary breath test that measured his blood alcohol content at .094%, above the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.
The witness who followed Flor said he saw the Corvette hit the Honda and send the vehicle airborne. The witness followed the speeding Corvette until it stopped.
"He stated [Flor] was confrontational with him when he told him he had fled the crash but ultimately did return to the crash scene," the charges read.
Backlund, a passenger in the Corvette, said Flor had two beers and a mixed drink at the golf course. Backlund said the Corvette jumped to the right and hit the Honda after Flor shifted gears. Backlund said he told Flor "several times to pull over" after the crash, according to the complaint.
One of the Honda's occupants said their car was hit twice on the driver's side, and it was the second time that sent the car into the ditch.