A Minnesota state trooper is charged with manslaughter stemming from a July 4 car accident in Cannon Falls (pictured above) which killed two people.
The trooper, Scott Robert Reps, was indicted earlier this month by a grand jury in Goodhue County on two counts of second-degree manslaughter, and he made his first court appearance Tuesday, WCCO reports.
Reps, 48, was responding to a collision between a motorcycle and a deer, with his lights and siren activated, when he collided with another car on 65th Avenue near County Road 24 in Cannon Falls.
According to the State Patrol, Reps was driving on 65th Avenue when a green car pulled out of a parking lot and made a left-hand turn into the path of his squad car. Reps' vehicle struck the other one broadside.
The passengers in the green car, Norman Scott, 78, and his wife, Geneva Scott, 79, from Cannon Falls, both died at the scene. Reps was seriously injured.
The Minnesota State Patrol issued a statement after the charges were announced, according to KARE 11.
"Troopers work hard every day to prevent crashes and save lives. Our thoughts remain with everyone affected by this devastating event," the statement said.
The grand jury issued the indictment Dec. 16 after hearing several days of testimony, the Rochester Post Bulletin reports. The decision was not made public until Reps made his initial court appearance, as state law requires.
According the the Post Bulletin, Reps was also indicted on one count of failure to drive with due care. One of the questions in the case is how fast Reps was driving at the time of the accident.
Some Minnesota prosecutors present cases to grand juries when law enforcement officials are involved in fatal accidents, the newspaper notes.
Reps was released on his own recognizance, and is due back in court Feb. 20, according to the Post Bulletin.