A sentence of roughly 3½ years awaits a South Dakota man who drove the wrong way on a southwestern Minnesota interstate while drunk and killed a 21-year-old woman in another vehicle.
Mark J. Wendland, 48, of Baltic, agreed to plead guilty last week in Martin County District Court in connection with the four-vehicle pileup on March 7 along Interstate 90 near Fairmont.
In exchange for admitting to criminal vehicular homicide, Wendland has agreed to serve roughly the first 2¼ years of his term in prison and the balance on supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 9.
Authorities determined that Wendland’s blood alcohol content three hours after the crash was .188 percent, more than twice the legal limit for driving in Minnesota. When questioned at the scene by a State Patrol sergeant, Wendland said he had one drink, according to the criminal complaint.
Wendland was driving west in the eastbound lanes of I-90 when he hit an SUV being driven by Tyler Schoborg, now 20, of Westbrook, Minn. A passenger, Hannah Stoesz, of nearby Mountain Lake, died at the scene.
Stoesz was not wearing her seat belt, according to the State Patrol. Schoborg was wearing a seat belt.
Two eastbound semitrailer trucks took evasive action as they neared the crash scene and ended up in the ditch. Neither trucker was hurt.