The man behind the wheel of a car as it crashed into an overpass barricade and fell onto the interstate below, killing a 1-year-old boy, was drunk and speeding while five children were in the back seat.
Hakeem Miller, 25, was charged Tuesday with two felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide and two gross misdemeanor counts of endangering a child in connection with Sunday's fatal crash in Brooklyn Center.
The State Patrol said a Ford Explorer struck the barrier on the Dupont Avenue North overpass around 2:30 a.m., flipped over the fence and plunged to I-94 below. The car landed on its trunk before tipping on to its roof, a witness said.
A 1-year-old child, identified as Miller's son, died in the crash. He'd been sitting unsecured on the lap of a 9-year-old, who was in the back behind the driver's seat at the time of the wreck. The 1-year-old was unresponsive and not breathing when first responders arrived, the complaint states, and later died at the hospital.
Three additional children, ages 3, 5 and 9, were also in the back seat of the car, according to the charges. They and the second 9-year-old had bruises, scrapes and cuts due to the crash, but were not seriously injured.
The seventh and final occupant, a 25-year-old woman from Minneapolis, was in the front passenger seat and suffered non-life threatening injuries.
At the scene, state troopers say they noticed Miller's left eye (his right is missing from a previous incident) was bloodshot and watery, and that he smelled of alcohol, according to the complaint. They described Miller as distraught due to the critical injuries to his 1-year-old son, and said they could not conduct field sobriety tests immediately.
A preliminary breath test administered a bit later came back with a 0.09% BAC, the charges state. Miller told troopers he had been drinking but said it was only one beer, according to the complaint.
Investigators spoke with the kids after the wreck. According to the charges, they described Miller as driving very fast and frequently swerving back and forth just prior to the crash. Surveillance video also showed the vehicle traveling at a "high rate of speed," the charges say.
Miller's first court appearance is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to court records.