Charges: Driver who killed teenager had .29 alcohol level


A Coon Rapids man had a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit when he smashed into another vehicle and caused the death of the teenage driver, according to charges filed Tuesday in Hennepin County.

Prosecutors charged Michael Vanwagner, 24, with two felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the July 22 crash that killed 16-year old Jason McCarthy (pictured below), a student at Champlin Park High School, the Associated Press reports.

Vanwagner's blood alcohol level was 0.293 percent at the time of the crash, which is more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent, according to the AP.

After the accident, Vanwagner posted a photo of his wrecked car on Facebook, with the caption, “That's her front end after I got done with her lol.” He later told the Star Tribune he posted the photo before he realized he had hit someone.

McCarthy died on July 29. Vanwagner has since taken down the posts.

According to the criminal complaint, McCarthy's car was stopped in the left turn lane at the intersection of Highway 252 and 73rd Avenue in Brooklyn Park when Vanwagner, driving at 60 mph, slammed into the back of his vehicle.

Just a few moments earlier, Vanwagner had hit another vehicle along Hwy. 252, but that driver was not seriously injured.

Vanwagner has a history of driving violations, including having his license suspended and revoked, driving without insurance and careless driving, the Star Tribune reports. He was on probation at the time of the accidents and was required to abstain from alcohol, the newspaper notes.

Vanwagner is in custody in the Hennepin County Jail on $250,000 bail, and he will make his first court appearance Wednesday.

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