St. Paul man pleads guilty in drunk-driving crash

  • Article by: KEVIN GILES , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 30, 2013 - 10:58 PM

Jon Ross Wentz will be sentenced in February. Two Stillwater sisters survived with serious injuries.

A St. Paul man who caused a head-on collision that severely injured two Stillwater sisters last year has pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal vehicular operation while drunk.

Jon Ross Wentz was driving westbound on Hwy. 5 in Lake Elmo in August 2012 when his car veered over the centerline, crashing into Marah Sobczak, 20, and her sister Kalley, 15.

His vehicle had been reported earlier as being “all over the road,” according to the complaint filed in Washington County District Court.

Wentz, now 47, entered a guilty plea on Dec. 19. He originally was charged with six felony counts and a seventh gross misdemeanor count, all while driving under the influence of alcohol and controlled substances, including methadone.

A test at Regions Hospital after the crash showed his blood alcohol content at 0.08 percent, the complaint said. The State Patrol spent months on crash reconstruction.

Marah Sobczak, a two-time state hockey champion at Stillwater Area High School, was about to start her junior year as a goalie on the Gustavus Adolphus College hockey team at the time of the crash. She and her sister have undergone extensive medical treatment for leg, spine and traumatic brain injuries since then.

Wentz has been charged numerous times with theft, domestic abuse and traffic offenses. He had a drunken driving conviction in August 2011, county attorney Pete Orput said.

Wentz is being held in the Washington County jail. Sentencing before Judge John McBride is set for Feb. 28.

Kevin Giles • 651-925-5037

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