Man accused of violating criminal law after snowmobile accident

A serious snowmobile accident recently occurred in Maple Lake Township, and now one person has been arrested. The Minnesota man is accused of violating criminal law, leading to the fatal injury of his passenger. The 20-year-old driver will be charged with criminal vehicular homicide resulting from the crash.

Around 1 a.m. on a Sunday in December, the authorities were called to the scene of the crash. When they arrived, they apparently discovered that a 21-year-old man who was not breathing. Emergency care was administered on the scene, but despite the responders' efforts, he was ultimately pronounced dead. Reportedly, the man had been a passenger on a snowmobile.

The authorities assert that the 20-year-old was operating the motor vehicle at a high rate of speed before coming to a sudden stop. The investigators also suspect that the two individuals were riding without helmets and that alcohol was likely a contributing factor in the incident. When the snowmobile stopped, both young men were tossed off the vehicle. The driver was transported to an area hospital for treatment of internal injuries. Upon his release, he will apparently be charged with criminal vehicular homicide.

In order to be convicted of criminal vehicular homicide, the court must determine that the accused violated Section 609.21 of the Minnesota Statutes by engaging in gross negligence, negligence while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or by leaving the scene of the accident. Another provision relates, in specified circumstances, an accident caused by a defective vehicle. The burden of proof, which must be beyond a reasonable doubt, lies with the prosecution to formally establish the violations of criminal law alleged. Furthermore, the driver retains the presumption of innocence in light of this tragic accident, and he has specific legal rights that he would do well to safeguard throughout the coming criminal proceedings.

Source:, "Man arrested in fatal snowmobile accident", Dana Thiede, Dec. 22, 2014

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