A 55-year-old Blaine man was charged last Friday with multiple counts of criminal vehicular homicide for a drunken-driving crash that killed a 2-year-old boy last year.
Pedro R. Flores is accused in a criminal complaint of driving under the influence of alcohol and TCH during a snowstorm on November 30, 2019. Flores was driving a Dodge Ram pickup eastbound on Main St. NW in Coon Rapids when he lost control, went over the median and slammed into a Toyota Camry.
A husband and wife and their two young children were in the Camry. Their 2-year-old suffered "devastating cranial and spinal injuries," according to the criminal complaint, and died Dec. 4, 2019. Their 5-year-old girl suffered a broken arm and injured her hip, while the driver's wife required emergency surgery for internal injuries. The husband driving the Camry suffered an ankle injury.
The 2-year-old was later identified as Gautam Pujari, of Lino Lakes, according to the Anoka County Sheriff's Office and a GoFundMe that raised more than $68,000.
The complaint accuses Flores of driving at least 55 mph in very poor conditions, with snow falling heavily, winds blowing at least 15 mph and the road covered in snow and ice.
Flores was not injured in the crash. Hours after the collision, the presence of THC was found in his system, in addition to a blood-alcohol content of 0.038, which is below the legal limit of 0.08. At the scene, a state trooper documented Flores as having slurred speech, glossy eyes and smelling of alcohol – and he failed a field sobriety test at the scene.
Flores is facing charges of criminal vehicular homicide (gross negligence), criminal vehicular homicide (under the influence of alcohol, drugs), four counts of criminal vehicular operation causing great or substantial bodily harm, and one count of second-degree DWI.