Charges filed against driver in fatal wrong-way crash

A Shakopee man has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide in a wrong-way crash that killed a Des Moines woman in southern Minnesota early Sunday. The victim had been planning her wedding for next summer. http://kare11.tv/2hDiYyA

NORTHFIELD, Minn. - A Shakopee man has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide in a wrong-way crash that killed a Des Moines woman in southern Minnesota early Sunday.

The State Patrol says 29-year-old Brandon Patrick Dellwo was driving the wrong way, east in the westbound lane of Minnesota Highway 19 around 12:15 a.m., when his 2017 Lincoln Navigator struck Kacy Elizabeth Merseal's 2008 Volkswagen EOS. The collision occurred at the intersection of Highway 19 and Bagley Avenue, just off of Interstate 35, near Northfield.

When troopers responded to the scene, Marseal was unresponsive and having trouble breathing, according to the criminal complaint. She was brought to the hospital and later died of her injuries.

On Monday, Dellwo was charged with criminal vehicular homicide under the influence of alcohol, a felony with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, the state troopers who responded to the call found Dellwo sitting in the passenger's seat of his car on the scene, but they said all signs pointed to Dellwo actually being the driver. Both doors had to be pried open, indicating that no one had left the vehicle, and witnesses who responded to the scene said Dellwo told them he was the only occupant.

Troopers observed signs that Dellwo was intoxicated, including an odor of alcohol and slurred speech. When he was brought to the hospital, troopers had a blood draw conducted. The criminal complaint states that Dellwo was making remarks to hospital staff in front of the troopers along the lines of, "I just killed someone."

Dellwo was brought to the Rice County Jail, where his PBT sample showed a blood alcohol content of .266, according to the complaint.

A passenger in Merseal's car, 30-year-old Tanya Marie Von Weine of Story City, Iowa, was transported to a hospital in Northfield with non-life-threatening injuries.

Merseal's brother posted on his Facebook page that she and Von Weine were attending the Bruno Mars concert in St. Paul, and were headed home when the crash happened. Both women were wearing seat belts at the time of the collision.

Merseal was engaged to be married in June 2018 in West Des Moines, according to an announcement posted online. KARE 11 is scheduled to speak to Merseal's fiancee and mother later Monday afternoon, and should have their reaction on tonight's broadcasts. 

Des Moines Register


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