Under the influence of alcohol, an 18-year-old driver was swerving on a country road seemingly on purpose when he crashed, killing one of his teenage passengers, authorities say.
The Thursday evening crash occurred on 795th Avenue near Glenville Beach, about five miles southeast of Albert Lea. When deputies arrived at about 7:30 p.m., they found multiple sets of tracks in the gravel road, indicating the driver had been drifting — in which a driver intentionally oversteers — before hitting a tree, according to the criminal complaint.
The driver, Dominik Nikko Boots-Ringeon, of Albert Lea, told deputies he lost control of his car. A preliminary breath test at the scene measured his blood alcohol content at .07%, and a later test by Albert Lea police found it was .055%. In any case, the legal age for drinking in Minnesota is 21.
He has been charged in Freeborn County District Court with criminal vehicle homicide and driving after his license was revoked.
17-year-old James J. Amarosa III of Albert Lea, who had been thrown from the vehicle, was pronounced dead about an hour after the crash, according to the complaint and the Sheriff's Office. Cameron M. Cunningham, of Twin Lakes, also fell from the vehicle and was taken by air ambulance to a Mayo facility in Rochester to treat critical injuries.
A 19-year-old and 17-year-old passenger, both of Albert Lea, suffered minor injuries.
At least one of the passengers was cited for underage drinking with a preliminary breath test result of .185%.
Boots-Ringeon, of Albert Lea, remains jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail. He has a court appearance scheduled for Sept. 10.