Minn. man with history of DUIs charged in hit-and-run death of pedestrian

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DETROIT LAKES, Minn.—A 47-year-old northwest Minnesota man who has been convicted of drunken driving at least six times appeared in district court Monday, Feb. 12, facing two felony charges of criminal vehicular homicide in the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian near Pine Point last Thursday.

Bruce Allen Basswood, 47, of nearby Ponsford is accused of hitting and killing Joshua Charles Jones, 21, of Ponsford as he was walking on Pow Wow Highway, about a half mile east of Pine Point.

Pine Point is about 25 miles northeast of Detroit Lakes in Becker County.

According to court records, the crash was reported about 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. The first deputy on the scene saw a man lying on the south shoulder of the road, with two females administering CPR.

Ambulance crews arrived and attempted life-saving measures, but Jones was pronounced dead at the scene.

The deputy saw numerous auto parts, including a side mirror, scattered on the roadway. Based on the debris, it was determined that the vehicle had been traveling eastbound when it hit Jones.

A witness reported seeing a white sedan leave a residence and head east on Pow Wow Highway shortly before the crash. The deputy went to that home and saw a white Grand Prix in the driveway. The car was missing a side mirror and had significant damage to the hood and windshield, consistent with being involved in the crash.

The homeowner said the Grand Prix had returned shortly before officers arrived, and had been driven by Basswood. Two passengers in the vehicle allegedly said that Basswood hit the pedestrian and didn't stop. Instead, he drove around for a while and then returned to the residence.

An investigator observed Basswood at the residence. He allegedly smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot, watery eyes and admitted having used meth a few days earlier. The car keys were on a table near him.

He was arrested and taken to jail, where his blood alcohol level tested at .10 percent more than three hours after the crash. A blood sample was taken from Basswood and sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for testing.

In court Monday, District Judge Jay Carlson set cash bail at $25,000 and bond at $250,000 or $500,000 without conditions. He remains in jail.

According to court records, besides the DUIs, Baswood has also been convicted of driving under a canceled license six times.