PINE CITY, Minn. - Charges of criminal vehicular homicide have been filed against a man from Wyoming, Minnesota in connection with the hit-and-run death of an Army veteran near Hinckley.
Prosecutors in Pine County have charged 31-year-old Derek Anthony Sanders with three counts of criminal vehicular homicide in the death of 24-year-old Trevor Langlois.
Investigators were called to an interstate off-ramp near Hinckley the night of June 17 and found Langlois suffering from life threatening injuries after being struck by a vehicle on the shoulder of I-35. Witnesses say a truck he had just purchased had broken down, and he was walking up to talk to a friend who was lending assistance.
Langlois died days later from his injuries.
The Minnesota State Patrol recovered debris from the accident scene that had them looking for a 2010 Ford pickup truck. They made a request for the public to be on the lookout for such a vehicle.
On June 24 a woman called Bloomington Police after seeing a pickup matching the State Patrol's description at a U.S. bank. It had damage to the right front and was missing the passenger side mirror assembly. The woman provided a license plate number that was traced to Derek Sanders.
Investigators went to Sanders' home in Wyoming to question him. Detectives say at first the defendant claimed he had crashed into a tree, but eventually admitted he had struck a truck parked on I-35 on the night Langlois was killed.
A criminal complaint filed against Sanders says he was servicing his line of vending machines and video games on June 17 and eventually ended up at Froggy's bar in Pine City. Sanders said he drank beer and mixed drinks for about four hours before driving to Grand Casino in Hinckley, but then decided not to go in. He told investigators he entered the ramp to I-35 and drove for a short distance before he crashed into something.
Sanders reportedly told detectives he wasn't paying attention, and was looking down when the crash occurred. When asked if alcohol played a part in the fatal accident, he reportedly answered "I had too many. I probably shouldn't have been in my truck. "
If found guilty Derek Sanders could be sentenced to 10 years in prison on each count of criminal vehicular homicide.
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