Charges have been filed against a man accused of fatally hitting a beloved Burnsville priest with his car as the priest rode his bike in Rosemount last fall.
Trejean Derrell Curry, 26, of Minneapolis, is charged via warrant with criminal vehicular homicide in the Oct. 25, 2021, crash that killed 73-year-old Dennis Keith Dempsey, of Apple Valley.
Curry was arrested at the scene of the crash, near County Road 42 and 145th Street West in Rosemount, police said at the time. However, Curry was released from jail without charges on Oct. 27, 2021, pending the results of the investigation, KARE 11 said.
A warrant was issued for Curry's arrest on March 17, the Dakota County Attorney's Office says.
Dempsey, who was a Catholic priest for 41 years, was serving as a parish priest at the Church of the Risen Savior in Burnsville at the time of his death. The church said Dempsey was "enjoying one of his favorite activities" when he was killed.
According to the criminal complaint, Rosemount police responded to the crash around 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2021, where they found Dempsey, who was non-responsive, in a ditch on the north side of County Road 42. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police found a sedan that was involved in the crash had a smashed windshield, charges said. The driver, identified as Curry, told police he didn't have a license with him.
Investigators later learned his license had been revoked.
Curry told police he was driving in the right lane when the bicyclist swerved out in front of him and he couldn't switch lanes nor slam on his brakes because there were other vehicles around him, the complaint states.
The Minnesota State Patrol did a crash reconstruction, finding the sedan and bike were both traveling westbound on the north shoulder of County Road 42 at the time of the crash, charges said. The reconstruction found two tire skid marks from the sedan prior to the point of impact, with the State Patrol finding the skid marks and point of impact were both on the shoulder, to the right of the solid white line (fog line).
"The skid marks travel virtually straight ahead until just before the point of impact, at which point they veer left towards the traffic lane," the complaint states. "Based on the bicycle tire scuff mark and indentation on the vehicle's front license plate, the tire of the bicycle made impact with the middle of the front license plate."
It's estimated Curry was going between 54-63 mph, charges said. The speed limit in the area of the crash is 55 mph.
Investigators searched Curry's phone and found a music app was in use leading up to the crash, according to court documents. And after the crash, Curry sent a text message that said, "Just got in a accident biker got in the way."
A blood test revealed no alcohol or controlled substances were in Curry's system at the time of the crash, charges said.
At the time of this writing, Curry was not in custody. A court date has not been scheduled.
Court records show Curry has a criminal history that includes several traffic violations, including several convictions of driving after his license was revoked.