Imagine getting a knock on your door from a state trooper or local police officer to tell you that a drunken driver just killed your wife, husband or child. In Minnesota and other states, alcohol related traffic deaths happen far too often. In 2014, for instance — the most recent year for which statistics are available — 88 Minnesotans were killed by drunk drivers. And even more motor vehicle deaths (111) were classified as related to alcohol.
A Roseville woman is the state’s latest fatal victim of an alleged drunk driver. A mother of three children, she was driving a minivan Saturday afternoon in Inver Grove Heights when her vehicle was slammed by a Cadillac sedan, according to police. The 21-year-old driver of the Cadillac from Inver Grove Heights suffered only minor injuries, but the Roseville woman died in her vehicle, which became draped by live electrical wires that fell from a utility pole that broke from the impact of the crash. The collision happened in broad daylight at the intersection of Dawn Avenue and 70th Street, reportedly as she was commuting for her job as a home health care nurse.
Police said the driver of the Cadillac was treated at Regions Hospital and then booked into the Dakota County Jail. He was charged Tuesday with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide — one for alleged gross negligence and one for being under the influence of alcohol. The complaint against Indehar said officers found an open bottle of rum in his car. Witnesses said he was going extremely fast through the intersection when the crash occurred. Indehar was spotted inside the car when it crashed, but he told a person at the scene that he wasn’t driving. He also told police officers in the ambulance that he was not intoxicated, but he was unstable on his feet and was somewhat incoherent at times, the complaint said. According to Department of Public Safety records reviewed by local media, his driving record includes two prior convictions for driving while intoxicated and he lost his driving privileges in March 2013.
Drunk Driver Lawsuit
Saturday’s fatal crash was all too preventable and a family left to wonder how society can put an end to the madness of driving a motor vehicle while impaired. Criminal prosecution will be part of the judicial history in this case and the family could seek financial compensation with a drunk driver lawsuit. In certain cases, in addition to holding the drunk driver responsible, survivors are able to hold alcohol suppliers responsible for serving a person who should not have been drinking. These actions are covered under state dram shop law and in the past have become part of wrongful death litigation.
Our law firm, based in Minneapolis, has recovered tens of millions of dollars for families who have egregiously lost a loved one to the recklessness of a drunk driver. Our Minnesota wrongful death lawyers provide free case consultations and conduct our own, independent investigations of accident scenes as we pursue full liability. Contact us online or call our firm (toll-free 888-377-8900) to talk to a lawyer at no obligation.
According to the 2014 Minnesota Motor Vehicle Impaired Driving Facts report, drunk driving-related fatalities have decreased by 25 percent in the past five years (2010 – 2014). But with the very recent death of Mrs. Caswell and scores of other Minnesotans who have been victimized again this year, there is obviously much more work to be done to halt an unacceptable plague against law-abiding citizens. According to a Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety report released just two months ago, recidivism among drunk drivers continues to be a major problem. In Minnesota, for instance, a full 25 percent of first-time offenders get caught in a second violation within five years.