Darfur woman charged with gross misdemeanor

BROWN COUNTY — A 26-year-old Darfur woman faces a gross misdemeanor charge for allegedly failing to stop for a collision involving injuries near the intersection of Brown County Road 2 and CR 23, three miles southwest of Springfield in the early morning of Aug. 5.

The charge was filed against Natasha B. Ring, 109 2nd St., Darfur, in Brown County District Court Thursday. She was summoned to appear in court to answer the complaint at 8:30 a.m., Oct. 17.

According to court documents, a Brown County sheriff’s deputy was called out by dispatch to respond to a motor vehicle partially submerged in a slough near the intersection of County Roads 2 and 23. Springfield Police and Fire/Rescue earlier responded and determined the vehicle was unoccupied by canoeing out to it.

At the scene at 6:49 a.m., the deputy observed a red truck partially submerged in water, about 100 yards off the road from the T intersection. The vehicle was registered to Ryan J. Taylor.

A Watonwan County Deputy assisted in locating people involved in the crash including Ring, who stated she was the driver and the only vehicle occupant.

Ring said she was coming home from Jackpot Junction Hotel/Casino, got sick and believes she fell asleep behind the wheel. After the crash, she called her brother to come pick her up.

A deputy had doubts about Ring being the only vehicle occupant because the passenger side windshield had a “spider web” crash, indicating someone in the passenger seat struck their head.

It was later determined through a Watonwan County deputy that Ring admitted to lying to law enforcement about being the only vehicle occupant. Ryan accompanied her in the passenger seat at the time of the crash. Ring and Ryan said Ring was the driver and Ryan was a passenger.

The Brown County deputy talked with Ring’s brother who said he picked the two people up near some Department of Natural Resources land and brough them home.

The deputy talked with Ring and Ryan separately. Based on the conversations, the story was that the two people left Jackpot because Ring got sick, Ryan had been drinking so Ring drove his truck, fell asleep behind the wheel, crashed into the slough and called her brother for a ride home.

Ring didn’t have any visible injuries. Ryan’s head injuries were consistent with hitting his head on the passenger side windshield, indicating he was a passenger. Ring said she was driving and lied about Ryan being present because she didn’t want to get him in trouble.

Ryan confirmed the story, indicating the blood marks near the driver’s area were more likely from him when he crawled out the driver’s side window. Ryan had visible lacerations to his left elbow, hands, and face with blood present.

Nobody attempted to notify law enforcement of the crash involving injuries.

According to Minnesota Statute 169.09.1, the driver of a motor vehicle involved in a collision shall immediately stop the vehicle as the scene of the collision, or as close to the scene as possible, and reasonably investigate what was struck. If the driver knows or has reason to know the collision resulted in injury to, or death of, another, the driver shall remain at the scene until the driver has given information. The stop must be made without unnecessarily obstructing traffic.

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