One wife reaches $100K settlement in 2012 fatal crash

Published 7:24am Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Second woman still suing alleged driver; criminal case still headed for jury trial

One of two women — who sued the suspected drunken driver of a crash near Austin that killed her husband and another — has reached a settlement outside of court.


Sarah Unverzagt, of Austin, and Jason David Fredrickson, of Elkton, reached a $100,000 settlement agreement before a pretrial that was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in Mower County Court. Sarah’s husband, Luke Unverzagt, died Feb. 25, 2012, when he was ejected as a passenger from a 2009 Cadillac STS after it struck a tree. He was 32. An attorney representing Sarah did not have time to comment on Tuesday.

Authorities who reconstructed the crash scene said Fredrickson, now 44, was the driver, and was traveling at nearly 120 mph before going into the ditch, snapping a utility pole and then hitting the tree. Because of a lengthy investigation, prosecuting attorneys weren’t able to level criminal charges against Fredrickson until March 2013. Sarah’s attorney filed a wrongful death suit in Mower County Court in December 2012, seeking at least $50,000 for damages, attorney’s fees and emotional distress.

Megan Moe, who also lost her 32-year-old husband, Jacob Moe, in the crash, filed a wrongful death lawsuit at that time as well. Moe was also ejected from the vehicle and died shortly after the crash.

However, Moe had not reached a settlement with Fredrickson, her attorney said on Tuesday. Furthermore, Megan has sued Lyle Liquor. According to the criminal complaint filed against Fredrickson in March, the Moes, Unverzagts, Fredrickson, and his wife went to the Lyle Liquor Store and while there had alcoholic beverages for several hours before returning to the Unverzagt home after midnight. The complaint alleges Fredrickson later drove toward Austin with Unverzagt and Moe after they had more drinks. The crash happened at about 1:50 a.m. at 2810 Fourth St. SE.

If Fredrickson and Lyle Liquor do not reach settlements with Megan, the cases will head for a jury trial in late March, as indicated in court Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Fredrickson still faces six varying counts of felony criminal vehicular homicide in the criminal case. He pleaded not guilty last March, and that case is headed for a jury trial.

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