A Washington County motorist has pleaded guilty to a petty misdemeanor for a road rage incident where he drove within inches of Olympic champion skier Jessie Diggins during a training session near her Afton home.
George G. Frost, 38, of St. Marys Point, won dismissal Tuesday of misdemeanor counts of assault, reckless driving, careless driving and disorderly conduct in connection with his encounter with Diggins and training partner Kris Hansen on Oct. 28.
Frost did plead guilty in District Court to nuisance on a public roadway and was ordered to pay a $300 fine and another $87 in court fees.
He also was ordered to send Diggins a letter of apology for his actions that put her life at risk, said Afton City Attorney Frederic Knaak.
Speaking on behalf of Frost, defense attorney Justin Schiks said his client acknowledged that he “misinterpreted the amount of space he had to pass” the woman on the road.
“He’s thankful that no one was hurt and glad to put the matter behind him,” Schiks said.
Knaak countered that Schiks’ explanation of his client’s behavior came up short and added that Frost “fully acknowledged he was engaged in wrongdoing.”
The prosecutor said his office chose to accept the plea because Diggins “wanted to get this behind her. She didn’t want this issue to linger.”
Diggins said in a blog post soon after the encounter that she and Hansen, her Stillwater High School coach, were roller-skiing single file and left plenty of room for any approaching vehicle when an SUV “buzzed us so close that I was rocked sideways from the wind.”
In a follow-up interview with the Star Tribune, Diggins said Frost “could have killed us. … You can’t take it back, a moment of road rage.”
What unfolded on the rural stretch of westbound S. 15th Street the 27-year-old cross-country gold medalist wrote on her blog, was “the most incredible display of aggressive bullying ... I’ve ever seen in person.”
Diggins went on to write that “if that guy had been 6 inches closer to us, we would be in the hospital or dead.”
In the criminal complaint, Frost explained to a sheriff’s deputy that he was upset with them for roller-skiing in the road because when he was a kid, law enforcement “harassed [him] for skateboarding in the area.”