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Northern Minnesota man faces criminal vehicular homicide charges

A 31-year-old Bena man who was allegedly drinking faces criminal vehicular homicide charges after the car he was driving went off the road and hit three trees last month near Walker, killing his passenger.

Phillip C. Nelson has been charged in Cass County District Court in Walker to three felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide—including being under the influence of alcohol, having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more and having a .08 concentration within two hours of driving, among other more minor charges.

Nelson will appear in court Monday for an omnibus hearing.

The Minnesota State Patrol responded to the crash at 4:11 a.m. Oct. 27 involving a Pontiac Grand Prix that was traveling eastbound on Highway 200 when it ran off the roadway, struck three trees and rolled several times. The passenger, Samuel Joseph Wilson, 23, was pronounced dead on the scene and Nelson was trapped in the car, extricated and transported to the hospital in Park Rapids for non-life-threatening injuries.

A preliminary breath test was administered at 7:30 a.m. on Nelson which revealed a blood alcohol concentration of .172, the complaint stated.

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