A 64-year-old man has been convicted of driving drunk into a business on the northwest edge of the Twin Cities, killing one person and injuring several others inside.
Robert Allen Johnson of Zimmerman was found guilty last week by Sherburne County District Judge Mary Yunker of criminal vehicular homicide and 13 other related counts in connection with driving his pickup through a wall of Reliant Systems, in the 12600 block of Fremont Avenue in Zimmerman, on the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2017.
Daniel M. Elliott, 51, of Hamburg, died that same week at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale. Elliott was there making a delivery at the time.
Johnson, who has two previous drunken driving convictions on his record, had a blood alcohol content at the scene of .103 percent, above the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.
He told a sheriff’s deputy he had at least two mixed drinks before leaving the American Legion hall. Law enforcement officers located a near-empty bottle of whiskey in the pickup’s center console, the charges said.
Johnson also said the accelerator stuck before the crash, according to the criminal complaint.
Other injured employees identified as being inside the building were Kim Ann Mills of Anoka; Heidi Jo Olerich of Zimmerman; and Michael Wayne Milano of Zimmerman. An unidentified fifth victim was treated and released.
Christine Milano told the Star Tribune on Monday that her brother “is always in pain and will never be able to lift his neck again, with 63 screws [and a] rod down his spine, and a plate on his collarbone.”
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 10.