Apple Valley woman charged after fatal crash

Public safety workers attend to the scene of the April 6, 2013, traffic accident at McAndrews Road and Garden View Drive in Apple Valley that took the life of 66-year-old James Sundboom. (File photo by Henry Miller)

Public safety workers attend to the scene of the April 6, 2013, traffic accident at McAndrews Road and Garden View Drive in Apple Valley that took the life of 66-year-old James Sundboom. (File photo by Henry Miller)

An Apple Valley woman was charged this week in connection with the April 2013 crash that took the life of a passenger in the group-home van she was driving.

Prosecutors allege that Amanda L. Schlachter, 29, ran a red light while dialing her cellphone at the time of the accident that saw the death of 66-year-old James F. Sundboom.

According to the criminal complaint, Schlachter, an employee with an area group home for adults, was transporting clients in a Dodge minivan back to the group home the afternoon of April 6, 2013, after taking them shopping and having lunch.

Schlachter allegedly ran a red light at Garden View Drive and McAndrews Road in Apple Valley and collided with another vehicle. The Dodge minivan rolled onto its side in the crash and then collided with a third vehicle.

Sundboom, a passenger in the Dodge minivan, was seriously injured and transported to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he later died.

Two adult male passengers and one adult female passenger in the minivan also were seriously injured, the complaint said.

Schlachter, who also suffered serious injury in the accident, has been charged in district court with one count of criminal vehicular homicide and three counts of criminal vehicular operation resulting in substantial bodily harm.

“This tragedy underscores the great danger associated with texting or dialing a cellphone while driving,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said.

If convicted on all counts, Schlachter faces a maximum penalty of 19 years in prison and fines totaling $50,000. She will have her first court appearance next month.

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