A Minneapolis man allegedly used cocaine and marijuana before he crashed into another vehicle and slammed into a bus shelter, badly injuring three people.
Michael W. Boucher, 40, was charged Wednesday in Hennepin County District Court with three counts of criminal vehicular operation causing great bodily harm. He was driving with a revoked license at the time of the collision.
One man’s leg was amputated due to injuries caused by Boucher crashing into the shelter at Lake Street and S. 22nd Avenue at 8:38 p.m. on Sunday. The victim was found face down on the pavement bleeding from the face. He suffered a skull fracture, severe eye injury, abdominal bleeding and broken bones that protruded from his leg, the charges said. He was unconscious and in critical condition when the charges were filed.
According to the criminal complaint: Police responding to the scene saw Boucher digging under the seats in the vehicle he had been driving. He told them he lost control while driving because of a coughing fit. Police found hypodermic needles in the area where Boucher was digging.
Video surveillance showed Boucher’s car slam into a car in front of him as he drove westbound on Lake Street. He was traveling faster than other vehicles.
Boucher’s car swerved and crashed into the shelter on the north side of Lake Street. He allegedly did not activate his brakes until “a second” before the collision, the charges said.
His car crashed into the victims, traveled through the shelter and across a nearby driveway and business complex, and came to rest against a concrete wall.
A second victim stumbled into a nearby restaurant afterward. He struggled to breathe and had a cut on his face that bled “profusely.” He suffered broken ribs.
A third victim was found next to the bus shelter with a puncture wound in his upper abdomen. He also suffered injuries to his legs, hands, hip and elbow.
The driver of the car Boucher crashed into told police that he was uninjured, although the trunk of his vehicle was severely damaged.
According to a search warrant filed in the case, Boucher, who was arrested at the scene, was uninjured.
“Boucher made a spontaneous utterance of, ‘I just did that coke at a party last night,’ ” the warrant said. “And a statement similar to, ‘I smoke weed now and then.’ ”
The charges said he allegedly admitted to snorting six lines of cocaine at a party and smoking marijuana that morning. His blood was collected two hours after the crash; test results are pending.
Boucher allegedly told police that he lost consciousness during a coughing fit, regained consciousness and swerved to avoid hitting a vehicle in front of him, causing him to strike the shelter.
A passenger in Boucher’s vehicle allegedly told police that Boucher did not have a coughing or sneezing fit.
Boucher’s criminal record includes convictions for domestic assault, theft and aggravated robbery and several traffic violations. He did not have an attorney listed in the most recent case.