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Sunday, May 29, 2022

The Minnesota Sheriff was driving 126 mph without a seat belt at the time of the DUI crash

The sheriff of the county of Minnesota, which includes Minneapolis, was driving over 190 miles per hour and was not wearing a seat belt during his December DUI crash, according to investigation files released Thursday by the State Patrol.

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson. (Courtesy of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office)

The files, which include an audio recording of an interview with David Hutchinson, blood alcohol test results and crash reports, paint a fuller picture of a rollover on Interstate 94 that killed a county-owned SUV and renewed calls for the sheriff’s resignation.

Hutchinson, the Hennepin County Sheriff, was sentenced last month to two years of probation and fined $610 after pleading guilty to one count of drunk driving.

Elected in 2018, Hutchinson said the accident was a “wake-up call” and that he signed up for an outpatient treatment program to address “my drinking problems and my overall health.”

Following the release of the State Patrol files Thursday morning, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz joined a growing chorus of state officials saying Hutchinson should step down.

“I’m not a Hennepin County resident, and I’m speaking about this as a private individual, but I think most Minnesotans know, and most Minnesotans understand, that there are consequences to decisions like this,” Waltz said during an unrelated press release. conferences. .

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, who was present, added that “it’s not our job to hire and fire the Hennepin County Sheriff, but as a voter, I would say it’s time for him to retire.”

Earlier this month, a majority of Hennepin County commissioners also called for Hutchinson’s resignation.

Messages asking for comment from Hutchinson’s attorney and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office were not returned Thursday.

Hutchinson was returning from a Minnesota Sheriffs Association conference at the Arrowwood resort around 2:30 a.m. Dec. 8 when he crashed a 2021 Ford Explorer about five miles east of Alexandria on I-94.

The crash analysis report showed that Hutchinson reached 126 mph and that the driver’s side seat belt was not buckled. The car contained three firearms and an unopened bottle of whiskey.

He first told the responding police officers that he was not driving, prompting an urgent search for the other person who was in the car.

“Hutchinson stated several times that he was not driving and that he did not know who was driving. Hutchinson stated at one point that he called a cab and was the passenger,” Douglas County Assemblyman Dylan Kryse said in his report.

No other people were found, although rescuers found the car keys on the roadway. State Patrol investigators believe Hutchinson abandoned them after the accident.

Hutchinson refused to give a urine sample. After a search warrant was obtained, a sample was finally taken about three hours after the crash. He showed a blood alcohol content of 0.134 percent. The legal driving limit in Minnesota is 0.08 percent.

A state patrol report said that Hutchinson had slurred speech, poor balance, and smelled of alcohol. He was hospitalized with three broken ribs, as well as head and hip injuries.

Alexandria police said that about an hour before the crash, a man at the Arrowwood resort called a taxi driver on Hutchinson’s cell phone to ask if any bars were still open. The taxi driver said no.

World Nation News Desk
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