A repeat drunken driver has been sentenced to prison for speeding without a driver’s license and while intoxicated in Inver Grove Heights, running a stop sign and fatally striking a nurse and mother of three driving her minivan.
Nicholas A. Indehar, 22, of Inver Grove Heights, pleaded guilty Friday in Dakota County District to criminal vehicular homicide and is now serving a roughly four-year sentence for killing Kim M. Caswell, 42, of Roseville, last fall.
Indehar will spend at least 2 1/2 years in prison before being eligible for supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution.
“We are pleased to have brought this man to justice for this senseless crime on our roads,” said County Attorney James Backstrom.
The crash on a late-October Saturday afternoon at Dawn Avenue and 70th Street killed Caswell after she had just finished her rounds in her new duties as a HealthEast home health care nurse and was on her way home.
At the time of the wreck, Indehar’s record in Minnesota since August 2011 included two convictions for drunken driving, two for speeding and one for illicit drug possession. He has not had a valid license since March 2013, according to the state Department of Public Safety.
According to prosecutors:
A witness estimated that Indehar was traveling 50 to 60 miles per hour when he ran the stop sign. A resident said he heard “acceleration noises” about the time of the collision.
The impact sent Caswell’s westbound minivan into a utility pole, cracking it in half and leaving live electrical wires draped over her vehicle. She was dead at the scene.
Officers approached Indehar and detected a “strong odor of alcohol coming from his person, his speech was slurred, his eyes were bloodshot and watery, and he was unsteady on his feet,” the criminal complaint against Indehar read.
A search of the vehicle turned up an open bottle of rum on the floor behind the driver’s seat, “the contents of which were almost gone,” the complaint continued.
Jon and Kim Caswell dated while both attended Mounds View High School and were married for 15 years, according to the family. At the time of the crash, the Caswells had daughters ages 15 and 13, and a 10-year-old son.
Caswell worked as a registered nurse in the emergency room at Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury until September, when she was transferred to home health care duties.