See more of the story

A truck driver who caused a crash in East Bethel that killed a motorcyclist in 2020 has been sentenced to probation.

Stephen E. Notsch, 67, of Big Lake, Minn., was sentenced Monday in Anoka County District Court after he pleaded guilty to gross-negligence criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the death of 64-year-old Michael T. McCauley.

The sentence from Judge Jonathan Jasper is a downward departure from state guidelines and comes under what is called a stay of adjudication, meaning that the charge against Notsch will be dismissed if he avoids violating the terms of his probation.

Jasper also gave Notsch the option of paying $150 as part of his sentence or performing 15 hours of community service.

According to the criminal complaint:

Shortly after 11:15 a.m. on July 22, 2020, Notsch was heading east on Viking Boulevard in the far right lane and moved to a lane to his left before turning right against a red light. He then collided with the motorcycle as it entered the intersection on southbound Hwy. 65 on a green light.

The crash investigation concluded that "the main contributing factor in the crash was [Notsch] making a right turn on red [and] disobeying the posted 'no turn on red except in the right lane' signs," the complaint read.

McCauley was thrown from his motorcycle and died at the scene. The patrol said he was not wearing a helmet.

A notice from the Anoka-Hennepin School District said shortly after McCauley's death that he was the longtime lead custodian at Roosevelt Middle School in Blaine before his retirement.

McCauley, of East Bethel, was described in his online obituary as a "master guitar player, Bible scholar, aspiring stunt pilot, skilled craftsman, superb mechanic, head of the department of redundancy department, bad dad-joke teller, guitar and amp builder, jack of all trades, protector of many, and avid motorcyclist."