Charges: Man Jailed in Fatal Crash Near Belgrade Was Impaired
ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- A Coon Rapids man has been charged in a crash that killed a Belgrade woman Monday morning.
Stearns County prosecutors have charged 52-year-old Chad Seitz with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide while under the influence of methamphetamine and marijuana, two counts of criminal vehicular operation causing bodily harm, and giving a false name to police.
The crash happened on Highway 55 between Belgrade and Brooten at around 6:45 a.m.
According to court documents, Seitz told troopers that he "may have dozed off" while on his way from Starbuck to the Twin Cities. A crash reconstruction by the Minnesota State Patrol indicated Seitz' car crossed over the centerline and hit 41-year-old Cassie Mithaugen's car head-on, killing her. A three-year-old girl in the back seat suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Court records show Mithaugen was taking the child to daycare when the fatal crash happened. Troopers say she was found dead at the scene after being partially ejected from the compact car she was driving.
The state trooper reported Seitz was showing signs of impairment, was fidgety, and was moving about in an unusual manner. A breath test did not show any alcohol in Seitz's system, but based on experience, training, and observations, the trooper believed Seitz was under the influence of methamphetamine and cannabis. Blood test results are pending.
According to the charges, Seitz admitted to using marijuana and meth on Friday night and commented that he smoked meth weekly.
Seitz has his first court hearing on Wednesday.
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