Charge: Intoxicated driver hits motorcycle near Bemidji, killing passenger

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 26, 2013 - 7:59 PM

A woman from Bemidji was intoxicated when she crossed the centerline of a northern Minnesota highway over the weekend, hit a motorcycle coming the other way and killed its passenger, authorities said Monday.

A woman from Bemidji said she had at least 18 drinks the previous night, then got behind the wheel of her SUV the next morning and crossed the centerline of a northern Minnesota highway over the weekend, hitting a motorcycle coming the other way and killing its passenger, authorities said Monday.

Victoria Whitefeather, 23, was charged in Hubbard County District Court with criminal vehicular homicide and drunken driving.

Killed in the crash shortly after 9:50 a.m. Sunday on County Road 36 was Tracy Childs, 51, of Proctor, Minn., according to the Sheriff’s Office. The motorcycle’s operator, 47-year-old Robert Childs, was severely injured in the crash in the northern part of the county, the Sheriff’s Office added.

Whitefeather was treated for minor injuries at Bemidji Hospital and then arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol at the time, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

 According to the criminal complaint:

Whitefeather told witnesses at the scene that she had "10-plus shots and eight-plus mixed drinks the evening before" the crash.

She awakened the next morning and began driving south on County Road 36 but fell asleep and ran into the northbound motorcycle.

A preliminary breath test more than five hours after the crash measure her blood alcohol content at 0.08 percent, the legal minimum for drunken driving in Minnesota.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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