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Criminal vehicular homicide charges filed in death of Minnesota couple

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A Cass Lake man was charged with eight counts of criminal vehicular homicide for causing the death of two people while driving under the influence.

The Brainerd Dispatch reports that Michael James Stangel, 27, crashed head-on into an incoming car. The May 3 collision killed Lisa Marie Collins, 45, and Timothy Bocephus Collins, 46, both of Cass Lake.

The crash occurred on County Road 75, just north of the Palace Casino in Cass County. The complaint said Stangel had been driving his Chevrolet Tahoe without headlights and a witness said Stangel struck his car twice from behind before passing at a high rate of speed and crashing into the Collins’ Kia Spectra.

The Park Rapids Enterprise reported that the criminal complaint said that when officers arrived at the crash scene, they noted Stangel and the passenger in his car both smelled of alcohol and that there were multiple alcohol containers in the vehicle. A warrant was obtained and a blood drawn from Stangel at the hospital showed his blood alcohol content at 0.33 percent, four times the legal limit.

Stangel appeared for a bail hearing in Cass County District Court on Friday. His next court hearing is scheduled on May 27.

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