A drunken motorist who is accused of running a stop sign and killing another driver in east-central Minnesota was driving long after his license had been revoked, an offense he had committed before, according to charges.
Peter P. Sarkisyan, 29, of Mora, Minn., was charged by summons this week in Aitkin County District Court with criminal-vehicular homicide, drunken driving, and driving after license revocation and without insurance.
Killed in the collision about 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 24 was Anthony R. Sundholm, 47, of McGrath, Minn. The crash occurred at Hwys. 18 and 65, just south of McGrath and about 10 miles east of Lake Mille Lacs.
Sarkisyan’s driving record in Minnesota includes several convictions since 2004, including running a stop sign, driving after his license was revoked, driving with an invalid license, careless driving, driving while uninsured and two speeding violations. Telephone numbers listed for him were not working Thursday afternoon.
According to the criminal complaint and the State Patrol:
Sarkisyan was heading west on Hwy. 18 with his brother-in-law and “failed to stop at the stop sign” at Hwy. 65, hitting Sundholm’s northbound car broadside. Sundholm had the lap portion of his seat belt on but had the shoulder restraint behind his back.
A state trooper opened the door to Sarkisyan’s car and noticed two open beer cans on the driver’s side of the vehicle.
Sarkisyan, while in a hospital emergency room in Mora, told a trooper that he had been drinking while fishing on nearby Pine Lake. A preliminary breath test revealed a blood alcohol level of 0.214 percent. A later blood test came back at 0.184, more than double the legal limit for driving.
Sundholm, a registered nurse, was the manager of the emergency room at Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin. He supervised about 30 health care professionals and oversaw emergency services, the hospital’s infusion center, the cardiopulmonary department and invasive procedural radiology services.
He also had extensive experience as a helicopter flight nurse and had served in the Army for four years during the Gulf War in the early 1990s.