Elkton man pleads not guilty to role in crash that killed 2 Austin men

Published 10:05am Friday, March 29, 2013

The alleged driver in a crash last year that killed Austin residents Jake Moe and Luke Unverzagt pleaded not guilty Thursday to six varying counts of criminal vehicular homicide.

Jason Fredrickson, 44, of Elkton, pleaded not guilty in Mower County Court to two counts each of: criminal vehicular homicide for blood alcohol more than .08; criminal vehicular homicide with negligence under the influence of alcohol; and criminal vehicular homicide for operating a vehicle in a grossly negligent manner. All charges are felonies.

The State Patrol identified Fredrickson as the driver.

The report states Fredrickson, Moe, Unverzagt and their spouses were drinking at the Unverzagt home before going to a bar in Lyle and returning after midnight on Feb. 25, 2012. Fredrickson allegedly had five to seven mixed drinks throughout the night.

Fredrickson reportedly left with Unverzagt and Moe at about 1:47 a.m. and crashed several minutes later. A man who drove by the scene reported the crash at 1:50.

According to the court complaint, Fredrickson drove a 2009 Cadillac STS into the ditch at about 120 mph, with Moe, 32, in the front passenger seat and Unverzagt, 32, in the back. The state patrol’s reconstruction of the fatal crash states the car crossed County Road 28 going north, swerved into the wrong lane and into the ditch, went airborne, snapped a utility pole and stopped after hitting a tree and another utility pole at 2810 Fourth St. SE. Sheriff Terese Amazi described the car as “obliterated.”

Both Unverzagt and Moe were ejected from the vehicle. Unverzagt died at the scene, while Moe was transported to the Austin hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Fredrickson was partially ejected from the vehicle and fractured his ankle, which is an injury consistent with stomping on the brake before such a crash, the report adds. Fredrickson went to the hospital in Austin and later to Mayo Clinic in Rochester where he spent a short time in intensive care. The report states Fredrickson’s blood alcohol level was .126 at the hospital at 2:30 a.m. and later tested at .06 at 5:18 a.m., and adds Fredrickson admitted to driving the vehicle.

The maximum sentence for criminal vehicular homicide is 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Fredrickson’s pretrial is Aug. 2.

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  • Anon man

    I saw that car, and there is no possible way to determine where anyone was in that mangled mess. Another stab by the government to make sure there is blame where everyone was a loser. I feel for all families involved but just leave this one alone, there has already been enough damage done on all sides here and to continually bring this tragic event up with the families is like rubbing salt in a wound.

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    • Messy

      Did you miss this part “Fredrickson admitted to driving the vehicle” ?

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  • YouBetcha

    It is tragic, but do you work in law enforcement? I think people would be surprised at what they can figure out. Besides, I doubt there is any government conspiracy to be had involving a vehicular homicide in Austin, MN. My best to the families, hope they make it through this alright.

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  • bohica

    It is tragic for all involved. But if you are driving while under the influence then 2 people get killed from an accident, you are responsible. I hope all families get through this especially those families with lost love ones.

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    • donna

      I agree. Life is about choices and when you make bad ones you are held accountable. I feel as bad as anyone for all involved but the price must be paid.

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      • ellen72

        Not to mention they both drank as well, and chose to ride with him anyway.

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  • Donna

    And they definitely paid the ultimate price!

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