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Minn. roundup: Driver pleads guilty to DWI crash that killed St. Paul singer; more state news stories

Driver pleads guilty to DWI crash that killed St. Paul singer

MINNEAPOLIS—An Apple Valley, Minn., man has pleaded guilty to killing a St. Paul woman in a car crash after drinking and driving last summer in Minneapolis.

Israel Delos Santos, 30, pleaded guilty Friday, Sept. 22, to one count of criminal vehicular homicide—driving with alcohol concentration above 0.08.

According to the Hennepin County attorney's office, he is expected to receive 10 years in prison during his Nov. 14 sentencing. Two other counts of criminal vehicular homicide (grossly negligent driving and fleeing the scene) will be dismissed when the judge accepts the plea.

Delos Santos admitted that he had been drinking when he crashed into a Honda Fit driving by Krista Sandstrom, 47, shortly before 6 p.m. June 1 south of downtown Minneapolis.

Prosecutors said the airbag control module in Delos Santos' Trailblazer showed he was driving 71 mph five seconds before he ran a red light at Park Avenue and East 15th Street.

Delos Santos, who ran from the scene but was later caught by police, had a blood-alcohol level of .021, nearly three times the legal limit.

In his plea agreement, Delos Santos, who has a history of DWI and other driving-related offenseses, said he was so intoxicated he couldn't recall much of what happened.

When she was killed, Sandstrom, a professional singer who performed with the Minnesota Chorale, was on her way to a voice lesson and, later, to see the end of her 11-year-old daughter's softball game.

One killed, another injured in pickup-buggy collision in northwest Minnesota

LEON TOWNSHIP, Minn.—One person was killed and another injured Saturday, Sept. 23, when a pickup truck rear-ended a horse-drawn buggy in Clearwater County..

The Minnesota State Patrol reported the accident happened at 7:38 p.m. on State Highway 92. A Ford F-350 and a horse-drawn Amish buggy were southbound on the highway when the pickup driver didn't see the other vehicle until it was too late and hit the back of the buggy.

A passenger in the buggy, 23-year-old Elsie Yoder, of Clearbrook, Minn., was taken to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo and died from her injuries.

The buggy driver, Mervin Yoder, 27, also of Clearbrook, suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Sanford Medical Center in Bagley, Minn. His condition was unknown Sunday, Sept. 24.

Pickup driver Christopher Keith Baumann, 27, of Nevis, Minn., wasn't injured. He was affected by alcohol at the time of the crash, according to authorities.

Van with seven people inside pushed into ditch in Roseau County

MORANVILLE TOWNSHIP, Minn.—One person was injured near here Saturday night, Sept. 23, when a van carrying several young children was struck from behind.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported the accident happened at 9:47 p.m. on State Highway 11 in Roseau County. According to a news release, a 2006 Honda Odyssey van was westbound when it was hit from behind by an unknown vehicle, which pushed the vehicle into the ditch.

The van's driver, Victor Nickolai Stepanyuk, 46, of Loman, Minn., wasn't injured. Several passengers from Loman weren't injured in the crash, including 8-year-old Anna Stepanyuk, 1-year-old Esther Stepanyuk, 1-year-old Julia Stepanyuk and 6-year-old Kristina Stepanyuk.

Two other passengers were brought to Roseau's LifeCare Medical Center: 44-year-old Nelya Stepanyuk, who wasn't injured, and 23-year-old Victoria Stepanyuk, who suffered non-life threatening injuries.

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