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An 18-year-old from Willmar has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide after allegedly driving drunk and causing a head-on crash that left a woman dead and a man requiring surgery for an internal injury on Sunday, July 24. 

"It was apparent there was a very violent collision based on the amount of damage to both vehicles. Both vehicles had heavy front end damage," the criminal complaint against Daniel Lohse reads.

According to the State Patrol, Dalia Zuniga, of Willmar, was driving northbound on Highway 71 west of New London when Lohse, driving a GMC Sierra, crashed into her vehicle around 2:20 a.m.  

The GMC was laying on its side, with the first officer on the scene recalling Lohse was in the driver's seat but "suspended hanging by the seatbelt." The officer checked the other vehicle, where found Zuniga, who had suffered "major trauma" and didn't have a pulse. She died at the scene. 

A 31-year-old passenger who was injured and required surgery for an internal injury told police that Zuniga had not been drinking and was driving him home to Belgrade from Zorbaz in Spicer. 

The cop "could smell an extremely strong odor of alcohol" from the vehicle and Lohse, later describing the smell as "overwhelming to troopers." As Lohse was being extricated from his vehicle, he told firefighters "I'm drunk" and "I'm wasted," the charges say.

A firefighter said she asked Lohse ten times for his name, but Lohse "just mumbled and was hard to hear," eventually reiterating he was "just f****** wasted." 

The crash happened around 2:20 a.m. and a blood sample was taken from Lohse at 4:53 a.m. That sample is being tested by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, so it's unclear what his BAC was. But Lohse admitted to mixing alcohol with the delta-8 THC, which is now legal in Minnesota. 

"He stated he has used delta-8 for a few years but this was the first time he used it when drinking," the complaint says, noting that Lohse admitted he was leaving a house party in New London. 

Police also found a jar of marijuana buds in Lohse's truck, but he denied using it. 

Lohse has been charged with one count each of criminal vehicular homicide, criminal vehicular operation, DWI and underage drinking. 

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