A 17-year-old Monticello boy was charged Monday in the death of a woman whose car he smashed into at more than 100 miles per hour after he allegedly became falling-down drunk at an Easter night house party in St. Michael.
Also charged with a felony is an 18-year-old St. Michael man and fellow student at St. Michael-Albertville High School, accused of supplying the alcohol that led to the deadly crash on April 13 on County Road 19 at 61st Street in Albertville.
Drew M. Anderson is charged with criminal-vehicular homicide and criminal-vehicular operation resulting in great bodily harm. His blood-alcohol content was 0.176 percent when he was tested at a hospital after the crash, the charges say. That is more than twice the legal limit for someone at least 21 years old to operate a motor vehicle.
Anderson is accused of killing Shrimatie Ramoutar-Hedberg, 43, of Otsego, and severely injuring the other driver, Ger Fon Vang, 25, also of Otsego. Vang remains hospitalized in critical condition.
Brent D. Holland is charged with procuring alcohol for a minor, a felony. According to the charges, he brought a bottle of Windsor whiskey to the party. Anderson started drinking that brand of whiskey and Coca-Cola soon after arriving, was "stumbling around" and "couldn't walk" and didn't know where he was when he left the party, the charges say.
Anderson and Holland were arrested Friday morning at their high school.
Anderson, the charges say, acknowledged drinking four to five whiskey-and-Cokes, along with beer and rum.
He and Holland appeared in court Monday and were released to their families on their own recognizance.
Two others, both juveniles, also are charged with providing alcohol to minors, said County Attorney Tom Kelly. Their names are not public because of their age.
"It's a sad, sad, sad situation in regard to youth and drinking again," Kelly said.
According to the Sheriff's Office, just before 5:30 a.m. on April 13, Drew Anderson was driving a car north on County Road 19 at speeds of more than 100 mph when he crossed into oncoming traffic and slammed head-on into a southbound car being driven by Vang.
Ramoutar-Hedberg, a passenger in Vang's car, was airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, where she died. She leaves behind a husband and three children.
Ramoutar-Hedberg and Vang were on their way to work at a medical materials manufacturer in Maple Plain when they were hit. Ramoutar-Hedberg was an inspector at the plant, where their shift was to start at 6 a.m., said co-worker Barbara Jellison.
Jellison said Ramoutar-Hedberg was from Trinidad and had recently moved with her husband from Florida to Minnesota. The couple had been raising her sister's two children, Jellison said. "It's such a tragedy," she said. "She's really going to be missed."
Kelly said there was a party at a home in St. Michael, where a fair number of juveniles were drinking on Easter night.
He said that the investigation remains open and that more charges could be filed, including against whoever was hosting the party. Kelly said he did not know whether any parents were at home at the time.
A number of communities, including Chaska and Lakeville, have adopted ordinances holding adults criminally liable when minors drink on their property.
"I don't have any answer" on how to keep tragedies involving young people and alcohol from happening, Kelly said. "I really believe education is one tool, and we're going to keep plugging."
Three days after the crash and a day before the two students were arrested, the Methamphetamine Education and Drug Awareness (MEADA) Coalition of Wright County held a forum at the high school. The topic? "Underage Drinking Is Not a Right of Passage."
MEADA committee member Meghan Pettis, who was at the gathering along with about 80 others, said the crash was discussed only briefly out of respect for the families involved.
Staff writer Bill McAuliffe contributed to this report. Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482