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Off-duty trooper charged with DWI in Meeker County; admits texting while driving

LITCHFIELD -- Off-duty Minnesota State Trooper Scott Urdahl was arrested for driving while impaired following a two-vehicle injury crash Tuesday evening.

The crash occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. on U.S. Highway 12 in Darwin Township about two miles east of Litchfield.

Urdahl, 40, of Darwin, was driving his personal vehicle, a Chevrolet Silverado pickup, westbound on Highway 12 when he crossed the center-line and collided with an eastbound Buick Century driven by Carrie Nickel, 57, of Litchfield. Nickel suffered minor injuries and was treated and released from Meeker Memorial Hospital in Litchfield.

According to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Urdahl registered a 0.112 alcohol-concentration on a preliminary breath test. The legal limit is 0.08. He was arrested by the State Patrol and booked in the Meeker County Jail.

Urdahl has been charged with one count of felony criminal vehicular operation resulting in substantial bodily harm. According to the criminal complaint, Urdahl also admitted to texting while driving.

The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St. Paul will forward toxicology reports to the Meeker County Attorney when analysis is complete.

"This is disappointing, unacceptable behavior and it will not be tolerated," said Col. Mark Dunaski, chief of the State Patrol. "This crash demonstrates what can happen when any driver makes poor choices behind the wheel."

A state trooper since May 1998, Urdahl has been placed on unpaid status pending the outcome of a criminal and internal investigation.