A 51-year-old man has been charged with being drunk while behind the wheel of a UTV that crashed, killing his passenger.
The crash happened along a corn field near to County Road 7 and 105th Street south of Mapleton late Thursday, with 59-year-old Susan Marie Quiram, of Elysian, dying after becoming trapped under the vehicle.
Lance Leiferman, of Mapleton, was driving when the crash happened, with police arriving to find him nearby in an apparently intoxicated state. An officer at the scene noted his speech was slurred, and he had an odor of alcohol.
He told police Quiram and he were riding on his side-by-side when she yelled "Hole!" Quiram was not wearing a seat belt and she fell from the UTV into the hole, with the vehicle then landing on top of her.
Leiferman said he had been wearing a seat belt and spent 30 minutes trying to lift the UTV off of her, but was unable to do so. He said he then spent another 30 minutes trying to find a vehicle to flag down to call 911.
While waiting with police, Leiferman "admitted to having too much to drink and that there would be two beers inside of the UTV."
He said that he and Quiram "had been drinking at his house earlier in the day," starting at around 3 p.m., and that he had between five and eight beers before the crash, though later upped the estimate to six to eight beers.
Leiferman gave a breath test of 0.06, which is below the Minnesota legal limit of 0.08, but the criminal complaint notes that the test happened at 1:24 a.m., about 2-2.5 hours after the crash.
In a later interview, Leiferman said he "did not believe he was feeling the effects of the alcohol and did not think it affected his ability to drive."
He has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide – undue influence of alcohol, and DWI.