A 19-year-old motorist drove more than 100 miles per hour while drunk and caused a crash that severely injured a boy in the other vehicle, a fiery collision that came hours after he was ticketed for speeding near a beach parking lot, according to charges.
Matthew Sukhram, of Blaine, was charged Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court with four counts of criminal vehicular operation and fleeing police stemming from the collision of SUVs Saturday night in St. Anthony that came moments after he allegedly touched an estimated 120 mph.
The other SUV's driver, 21-year-old Soua Vang, of Circle Pines, suffered bleeding on the brain and was hospitalized along with her 11-year-old brother, Av Vang.
Av's prognosis for survival was described two days later in the criminal complaint as "hour by hour." Along with serious brain damage, he suffered "extensive internal injuries" to his liver, spleen and kidneys, the charges read.
"It is unclear if [Av] will survive his injuries," the complaint noted.
Sukhram also was treated for a broken pelvis and a fractured spine, the charges added. He was booked into jail Sunday, appeared in court Wednesday and remains held in lieu of $500,000 bail ahead of a hearing on Nov. 2. Court records do not yet list an attorney for him.
Court filings do show that Sukhram has a habit of speeding that has loaded up his record with six citations in slightly more than two years.
A citation filed in Anoka County District Court charges Sukhram with misdemeanor reckless driving and alleges he was traveling roughly 70 mph in a 30 mph zone about 3:45 p.m. Saturday near the Lakes Beach parking lot on NE. Lakes Parkway "with pedestrians on the sidewalk and at times in the crosswalks." The officer said he later clocked Sukhram at 83 mph in a 55 mph zone.
According to the complaint involving the crash:
About 10:45 p.m., Sukhram sped past a deputy on southbound Interstate 35W in Mounds View at what the officer estimated was 100 mph.
The deputy activated his emergency lights and siren in hopes of pulling over Sukhram, who soon turned off all his lights and pushed his SUV to roughly 120 mph.
Sukhram reached New Brighton Boulevard and 29th Avenue in St. Anthony, where he slammed into the other SUV. His vehicle burst into flames and came to rest a football field's distance from the spot of impact.
A law enforcement officer at the scene collected a breath sample from Sukhram, and it measured 0.093%, above the legal limit for a driver in Minnesota who is at least 21 years old.
The other SUV was tipped on one side. Emergency responders removed Soua Vang from the vehicle and rushed her to the hospital. Av, seated in back, also was taken to the hospital, where a doctor told police that the boy's condition "was the worst pediatric case she had seen," the charges read.
Sukhram told a law enforcement investigator he had two vodka drinks before noon that day but nothing else afterward, including when he later met with his sister and others at a restaurant. He did acknowledge having two sealed bottles of vodka in his SUV at the time of the crash.
He went on to admit that "I ran from the cops" after seeing the deputy's lights and hearing his siren. He added that his sister called him during the chase and asked, " 'What the [expletive] are you doing?' " the complaint read.
"Sukhram never asked about the condition of the people in the car he struck," the charges added. "Sukhram's only concern was what amount his bail was going to be."