Marie J. Hall, 24, of Richfield, was charged Wednesday with third-degree murder, criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation in connection with the Jan. 28 crash that killed Tyler Lenort, an an equipment manager and 15-year employee with the city of Bloomington.
The crash also seriously injured Daryl Bittmann, who was working with Lenort at the time.
Lenort had just gotten into the public works pick-up truck that was parked on American Boulevard when Hall's SUV, traveling about 80 mph at the time, rear-ended the truck, according to a CaringBridge page.
According to the criminal complaint:
On Jan. 28, Hall, who was "distraught over events in her life," told police she left her home and drove to the store for some vodka.
Through their investigation, police learned that around 10:18 a.m., she was acting and driving erratically, noting she had gone to her former place of employment, walked behind the counter, grabbed two bottles of vodka and then "threw cash up in the air" on her way out of the store.
She told police she drank roughly four to five shots of vodka before driving roughly 100 mph down American Boulevard. When police asked her why she was driving so fast, she said she read in the Bible, "You must die by the flesh to get to heaven," confirming to police she was speeding as a way to "end all."
At 10:21 a.m., Bloomington police responded to the crash on American Boulevard East, where they found Hall trapped in her vehicle, which was on fire. When police rescued her from the truck, they could smell the "strong odor of alcohol."
Police also found Lenort and Bittmann unconscious in the truck.
Lenort died from his injuries on Jan. 31. Bittmann remains hospitalized, and is being treated for a traumatic brain injury and bleeding on the brain.
Hall is still in the hospital on a mental health hold.