Drunken driver convicted in two deaths at 120 mph near Austin

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 16, 2014 - 8:11 PM

The friends had been drinking for hours before taking a ride in a speeding car. Sentencing is set for March 13.

A southern Minnesota man has been convicted of killing two of his friends while driving drunk along a county road south of Austin, Minn., nearly two years ago.

Jurors in Mower County District Court found Jason D. Fredrickson, 45, of Elkton, guilty Wednesday night on four counts of criminal vehicular homicide in the deaths of Jake Moe, 32, and Luke Unverzagt, 32, both of Austin.

A State Patrol reconstruction of the crash estimated that Fredrickson’s Cadillac STS topped 120 miles per hour on Feb. 25, 2012, when it veered into a ditch and then went airborne, knocking over a utility pole, hitting a tree and then another utility pole.

Fredrickson’s blood alcohol content was measured at 0.126 percent about 40 minutes after the late-night crash, well above the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.

He remains free on his own recognizance until sentencing, scheduled for March 13. His driving record in Minnesota includes seven speeding tickets in a 10-year span and a conviction for leaving the scene of an accident.

The complaint said Fredrickson and his friends had been drinking for hours that evening, first at the Unverzagt home, then at a bar before returning to the home. Fredrickson had at least six to eight mixed drinks over the course of the night.

Fredrickson said he was going to give Moe a ride into town. A few minutes later, about 1:50 a.m., a passerby and then law enforcement discovered the wreckage.

Unverzagt and Moe were thrown from the vehicle. Fredrickson was partly ejected from behind the steering wheel and suffered a broken ankle.

 

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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