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St. James man faces criminal vehicular homicide charge

GAYLORD — A 20-year-old St. James man facing five charges, including felony criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation for his alleged role in a Sept. 11, 2019 Sibley County crash, made an initial court appearance Friday.

Tashawn Ray Parker, 25619 110th St., James, who also faces two reckless driving and a careless driving charge, was released on his own personal recognizance. An omnnibus hearing was set for 2 p.m., July 23.

According to court documents, Parker was driving a 2018 Ford F350 pickup, pulling a single-axle, utility trailer southbound on Sibley County Road 9 at the intersection of State Highway 19 when he failed to stop for a stop sign, despite rumble strips and a stop bar painted on pavement, and collided with a 1998 Dodge pickup that was eastbound on Highway 19.

The front of the Dodge, driven by an adult male with an adult female passenger, hit the right rear of the Ford in the intersection. The trailer detached from the truck and entered the ditch.

Both pieces of machinery on the trailer were ejected. One piece of machinery hit the driver’s side of the Dodge, killing the driver. The passenger had minor injuries.

When interviewed by law enforcement, Parker admitted he looked over at his mounted tablet with GPS information on it, was unfamiliar with the area, looked at the tablet for directions, looked back up and was in the intersection.

Minnesota State Patrol traffic reconstruction revealed that Parker was not aware of the intersection until he was about 9 feet from it. Speed analysis indicated he was traveling between 58 and 64 miles per hour when he became aware of the intersection.

Utility trailer inspection revealed the equipment on it was not secured properly.

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