Criminal vehicular homicide charge filed after fatal crash

Driver allegedly at fault was more than four times legal limit

A 29-year-old Burnsville man was killed at about 8 p.m. Thursday, June 28, when the motorcycle he was driving was struck by a Ford Taurus, whose driver was charged on Monday in Dakota County District Court with felony criminal vehicular homicide and three other charges.

Leah Colwell
Leah Colwell

Leah Marie Colwell, 44, of Lakeville, was also charged with fourth-degree driving while impaired, driving after cancellation of her license and for having an open bottle of alcohol in her vehicle.

Jeffrey Trondson died at the scene. He was travelling westbound on 160th Street in the right lane when a Ford Taurus travelling eastbound on 160th Street and was making a left turn onto northbound Harwell Avenue when it crossed in front of the motorcycle, according to the criminal complaint.

The criminal complaint said a preliminary breath test given to Colwell at the scene detected her blood-alcohol level at .36, more than four times the legal limit.

Colwell told police that she had four “Captain Cokes” before leaving her home with two other people.

Those two people were in the car with Colwell at the time of the crash. Colwell allegedly said she didn’t want her passengers driving because they had consumed more alcohol than she did.

She claims she didn’t see the motorcycle, but allegedly one of her passengers warned her of its presence before the crash.

Another passenger in the vehicle told police that he removed to bottles of alcohol from the backseat of the car and threw them in a trash can at a nearby residence. The bottles, one which had its seal broken, were recovered by officers.

If convicted on all charges, Colwell faces more than 11 years in prison and about $25,000 in fines.