An Apple Valley man will likely receive a 10-year prison sentence after he admitted to being drunk when the vehicle he was driving topped 70 mph on a Minneapolis city street before smashing into a singer on her way to give a voice lesson.
Israel Delos Santos, 30, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the June 1 crash that killed Krista Sandstrom, 47, of St. Paul.
Two additional criminal vehicular homicide charges are expected to be dropped at sentencing, according to the Hennepin County attorney’s office.
Delos Santos, who had a dangerous driving history and no valid license, had a blood alcohol level of .21, nearly three times the legal limit, when he was arrested after the crash. He told prosecutors he was so drunk he didn’t remember much of what happened.
Charges say the air bag control module in Delos Santos’ Chevrolet Trailblazer logged the 71 mph speed five seconds before he ran a red light and smashed into Sandstrom’s Honda Fit at the intersection of 15th Street E.
Two men ran from the SUV, even though witnesses tried to physically keep Delos Santos at the scene, police said.
Officers soon caught up to them. The SUV’s passenger was released after speaking with authorities, while Delos Santos was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for his injuries and then booked the next afternoon into jail.
At the time of the crash, Delos Santos was under intensive court-supervised release in connection with an armed second-degree assault conviction in 2014 in Dakota County. His criminal history also includes two convictions for drunken driving, at least six convictions for domestic abuse or assault, and four convictions for driving after having his license revoked. He was driving with a canceled license at the time of the crash.
Sandstrom was a member of Minnesota Chorale, the principal chorus of the Minnesota Orchestra, according to a detailed biography accompanying a YouTube video of her singing in April with her husband, Christian McGuire, at Trotter’s Cafe in St. Paul.
Away from performing, Sandstrom worked at HCMC as the director of leadership and organizational development.