A 27-year-old motorist was extremely drunk when he hit an Amish buggy from behind in northwestern Minnesota and killed a woman riding in the horse-drawn vehicle, according to charges.
Christopher K. Baumann, of Bemidji, was charged Monday in Clearwater County District Court with criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation in connection with the collision Saturday night on Hwy. 92 in the Clearwater County community of Leon Township. Baumann was jailed and later released on bail. He was not immediately available to respond to the allegations.
Buggy passenger Elsie Yoder, 23, of nearby Clearbrook, was hospitalized in Fargo and died. Driving the horse-drawn buggy was her brother, 27-year-old Mervin Yoder, also from Clearbrook. He was treated for less serious injuries at a hospital in nearby Bagley.
The horse pulling the buggy suffered broken legs and was euthanized, the charges read.
According to the criminal complaint:
A sheriff’s deputy called to the scene located Baumann in his damaged pickup truck a half-mile north of where the crash occurred. Baumann got out and said, “Let’s just get to the point. Whatever you’ve got to do, breathalyzer, whatever.”
The deputy administered a preliminary breath test, and it showed Baumann’s blood alcohol level was 0.232 percent, nearly three times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.