One of several people injured inside a business when a suspected drunken driver crashed into the building on the northwest edge of the Twin Cities has died, authorities said Thursday.
Daniel Mark Elliott, 51, of Hamburg, died Wednesday at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.
Robert Allen Johnson, 63, of Zimmerman, was arrested and charged Wednesday in Sherburne County District Court with criminal vehicular operation and drunken driving after he drove through a wall of Reliant Systems, located in the 12600 block of Fremont Avenue in Zimmerman, and struck the employees Monday afternoon. On Thursday, those charges were upgraded to criminal vehicular homicide. He’ll next appear Oct. 11.
Johnson, who has two drunken driving convictions, suffered minor injuries, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He was released on $20,000 bail ahead of an Oct. 11 court appearance.
His blood alcohol content at the scene was measured at .103 percent, above the legal limit for driving in Minnesota. Johnson told the deputy he had at least two drinks before leaving the American Legion.
Law enforcement officers located a near-empty bottle of whiskey in the center console, according to the charges.
Johnson also said the accelerator on his pickup stuck before the crash, according to the complaint. A man inside the building looked inside the truck and saw Johnson had the gas pedal pushed to the floor, the complaint continued.
Other employees identified as being inside the building and hurt are Kim Ann Mills, 51, of Anoka; Heidi Jo Olerich, 47, of Zimmerman; and Michael Wayne Milano, 44, of Zimmerman.
Mills was in critical condition Thursday at North Memorial, a hospital spokeswoman said. Milano, also at North Memorial, was in serious condition. Olerich was taken to a hospital in Princeton with noncritical injuries.
An unidentified fifth victim was treated and released.