A man from New Prague admitted having at least nine drinks before he crashed his vehicle in a farm field and killed a passenger, according to charges filed Monday.
Jesse D. Brown, 34, was charged in Le Sueur County District Court with criminal vehicular homicide and drunken driving in connection with the fiery rollover crash late Thursday that killed Jarrett F. Luethe, 26, of Sparta, Wis. Brown remains jailed in lieu of $7,000 bail ahead of a Sept. 19 hearing.
Brown told a sheriff’s deputy at the scene that he had three shots of liquor and six to seven beers that evening, the criminal complaint read. Brown was given a preliminary breath test that evening at a hospital, which revealed his blood alcohol content at .183 percent, more than twice the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.
Brown’s attorney, Daniel Koewler, declined to comment about the allegations.
According to the charges:
The deputy arrived to the scene, southeast of New Prague on 141st Avenue in Lanesburgh Township, to see the vehicle on fire in a bean field and a New Prague police officer trying to revive Luethe as Brown stood nearby.
A witness said he came upon Brown hanging from his seat belt in the vehicle, which landed on its roof. Once the witness had helped Brown get out, the two then freed Luethe, who was pinned underneath.
A strong odor of alcohol coming from Brown and slurred speech made the deputy suspect that the driver had been drinking.
Luethe was married, had two children and another due in January. He was a laborer for Ames Construction Co. and recently learned he was being promoted to foreman, according to his family.