A man was under the influence and driving nearly 100 mph when he crashed a stolen car, killing a 24-year-old passenger, charges say.
Miguel Viveros Morales, 29, who doesn’t have a permanent address, is charged via warrant with three counts of criminal vehicular homicide, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court.
Just after 8 a.m., on May 29, Roseville police and other agencies were sent to eastbound Minesota Highway 36 at Snelling Avenue, after reports of a vehicle crash. A 24-year-old man lay dead in the eastbound lanes with a pool of blood around his head, the complaint said. An autopsy found the man died from “traumatic head injuries due to ejection from a vehicle.”
A damaged red Ford Focus, later found to be stolen from Minneapolis the night before, was several hundred yards away from the man. Witnesses said they saw the driver of the vehicle and another passenger leaving the scene, the complaint said. The driver, identified as Morales, was eventually picked up by authorities on foot in a disoriented state, according to the complaint.
Witnesses said they saw the Ford Focus travelling out of control eastbound at high rate of speed, swerving and crossing multiple lanes and eventually driving into the grassy center median, where the vehicle hit a guardrail and pole, the complaint said. The 24-year-old passenger was ejected from the vehicle.
Minnesota State Patrol crash reconstruction estimated that the vehicle was travelling at least 97 mph, the complaint said.
A blood sample collected from Morales over eight hours after the incident revealed no alcohol concentration, but found THC, cocaine and methamphetamine metabolites. DNA on the steering wheel and gear shift of the car matched Morales’ profile, the complaint said.
In an interview with authorities, Morales eventually admitted that he was the driver, and confirmed that he and the passengers had been using drugs and alcohol, according to the complaint. He said he had not slept in two days at the time of the crash and was using drugs to stay awake, the complaint said.
The surviving car passenger corroborated Morales’ account of the incident and said Morales was “driving crazy” on the highway, according to the complaint. The surviving passenger said he looked for the 24-year-old after the crash and called 911 when he couldn’t find him.