A 26-year-old is accused of hitting and killing his friend in a pasture last weekend while he was driving after drinking, according to charges.
Nathan Brooks faces a charge of felony criminal vehicular homicide in connection to Alex Dylan Tapp's death. He also faces a gross misdemeanor for driving after his license was revoked.
This is the fourth time Brooks has been charged for the same misdemeanor – he has three DWIs on his record, according to public criminal history records.
According to the criminal complaint:
Brooks and Tapp were both attending a bonfire party in a pasture at a rural residence in Freeborn County.
More than one witness said they saw Brooks consuming alcohol at the party.
Brooks left the party to gather more firewood in his suburban. Upon his return he was "doing doughnuts" and "tearing around" in the grass.
He later said that he ran over something and his "heart just stopped," hoping that he had ran over a log. He then parked, found the victim and alerted the others to call 911.
Witnesses and first responders to the accident attempted CPR, but Tapp was pronounced dead at the scene. He suffered severe head, facial and chest injuries.
Then Brooks stayed in the basement of the nearby residence overnight. He denied driving in a careless manner or trying to hide from the sheriff's department, although they were in and out of the house several times.
The following day he turned himself into the Freeborn County Sheriff's Department. If convicted, Brooks faces up to 11 years in prison and a $23,000 fine for both charges combined.
Brooks' mother told the Star Tribune that “it wasn’t reckless driving. It was a terrible, unfortunate accident," and that Brooks and Tapp were friends.
Tapp's family has created a YouCaring page and is asking for donations to ease the financial pressure and cherish the memories of their son and brother in peace.
According to his obituary, Tapp graduated from Southland High School in Adams and then went to Riverland Community College. He enjoyed hiking, frisbee golf, biking, guitar, cooking, coffee, and spending time with his friends.
There will be a memorial service for him at the Worlein Funeral Home Chapel in Austin on Tuesday, April 26 at 11 a.m.