A motorist who chronically drove after losing his license has pleaded guilty to being drunk when he sped through a red light in Minneapolis, crashed and killed an Uber driver with a customer.
Emery J. Winford, 43, of St. Paul, admitted Monday in Hennepin County District Court to criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the collision on March 16 at Lyndale and Plymouth avenues N. that killed 48-year-old Abdishakur Sandiko, of Minneapolis.
Winford is expected to receive a term of nearly 3½ years when he is sentenced on Feb. 4. With credit for time in jail upon his arrest, Winford will spend roughly two years in prison and serve the balance on supervised release.
Winford has been convicted five times for driving after his license has been either revoked or suspended, state records show.
A preliminary breath test administered by police at the scene measured Winford’s blood alcohol content at 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal limit for driving in Minnesota. He claimed he drank one beer before driving and believed that adrenaline rushing through his body after the crash elevated his blood alcohol content.
A witness told police that Winford appeared to be driving more than 80 miles per hour when he went through the red light.
The crash sent Sandiko’s car into an electrical box, causing a power failure that lasted several hours.
Sandiko died three days later from injuries to his brain and other vital organs. His Uber passenger suffered minor injuries.