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Man's shoe at the center of debate in fatal car accident

A 45-year-old man accused of drunk driving and causing a wreck that killed two is currently on trial for felony criminal vehicular homicide. The car accident happened in Minnesota on Feb. 25, 2012, and the subsequent wreckage has been a key point of the trial.

The crash occurred when the 2009 Cadillac STS that was carrying all three men went off the road, through a ditch and then hit a utility pole and a tree. The two 32-year-old men were ejected from the car and killed. Minnesota State Police believe speed was a factor in the crash and reported that the car was going 129 miles per hour right before the impact.

On Jan. 10, defense lawyers questioned one of the detectives at length regarding his investigation of the crash and what was sent for chemical testing to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The detective testified that he started examining the wreckage inside a county building two days after the crash occurred. The defendant's shoe was found under the steering column, but the defense argued that items in the car were scattered around during the impact so the shoe may not have belonged to the driver of the vehicle.

Prosecutors countered by noting that the defendant sustained an ankle injury in the crash, which may have been a result of forcefully pressing the brake pedal before the impact. According to the man who delivered the summons to the defendant, the defendant also admitted to being the driver of the vehicle before recanting and saying he didn't know who was driving.

While the outcome of this case remains to be seen, it shows how important the scene of a car accident can be, and how even the smallest details can make or break a case. For those who are affected by drunk or inattentive drivers, compensation can not replace a lost loved one or take away pain and suffering, but talking with a personal injury attorney can be the first step to moving forward.

Source:  Albert Lea Tribune, "Defense points out holes in vehicular homicide case" Matt Peterson, Jan. 11, 2014

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