A motorist high on marijuana and methamphetamine slammed into a parked car in northwestern Minnesota and killed the man behind the wheel as he waited to report for his job as a school bus driver, according to charges.
Richard H. Fisette, 39, of Perham, Minn., appeared in court Wednesday on charges of criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the crash before dawn Monday in Frazee that killed Marlin Miller, 50, of Ponsford, Minn.
Miller was parked shortly after 6 a.m. in front of his workplace, Anderson Bus and Coach, at the time of the head-on wreck.
"A car with no lights came out of nowhere and slammed into Marlin's parked car while he listened to the news on the radio as he has done for the past 30 years," the company said in a Facebook posting.
"This makes me so incredibly sad," Lorri Shrader said in a comment under the posting. "Marlin was so much more than my son's bus driver. He took him fishing and mudding and all those guy things Moms don't do. We will miss him."
Miller's boss, Ted Anderson, told the Forum of Fargo that his driver "was looking forward to going down to Frisco this year with the NDSU band. Of course, he won't make it this year."
The Jones-Pearson Funeral Home obituary for Miller read that "above all, Marlin treasured time spent with his family, his co-workers and the students and travelers he got to know on the school bus and coach trips."
According to the charges, Fisette's car hit Miller's in a chain reaction that left four vehicles damaged. Fisette explained to a sheriff's deputy that a tire blew as he headed east on Juniper Avenue at roughly 35 miles per hour but added that his last glance at his speedometer showed he was going 42 mph.
He also told the deputy that he had smoked marijuana and meth the day before and last slept the previous afternoon for about 90 minutes "because of the methamphetamine high," the charges said.
A witness at the scene said he saw Fisette driving with his headlights off and going above the speed limit.
Fisette remains jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail. Defense attorney Johnathan Judd said it was too early for him to respond to the allegations.