Austin man charged in fatal crash in April posts bond

Published 10:47 am Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nathan Paul Brooks

Nathan Paul Brooks

ALBERT LEA — The Austin man charged with criminal vehicular homicide in connection with a fatal crash in April east of Hollandale posted bail Monday.

Nathan Paul Brooks, 27, faces charges of criminal vehicular homicide and gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation in the April 16 crash that killed Alex Dylan Tapp, 30, of Austin.

Freeborn County District Court Judge Steven Schwab set conditional bail for Brooks at $40,000 in April.

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Court documents allege Brooks had been drinking alcohol at a bonfire with about eight other people and had reportedly been driving in doughnuts in the nearby pasture where Tapp was struck and killed.

A witness identified Brooks as having driven the Suburban that killed Tapp, noting Brooks had been “messing around” with it, according to the court file.

When Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived that night, they reportedly found Tapp lying about 40 feet from the bonfire area. He had reportedly been struck by a 2000 Chevy Suburban and was pronounced dead at the scene with severe head, facial and chest injuries.

Efforts to reach Brooks that night on his cellphone were unsuccessful, and he turned himself in on the charges the next afternoon.

In an interview with authorities, Brooks reportedly denied trying to evade law enforcement and that he had been driving carelessly. He reportedly said that after he had parked his Suburban near the fire, he noticed Tapp was not around, so he ran to the area where he had run over something and found Tapp on the ground with substantial injuries. He reportedly alerted others, and they called 911 and began CPR. He stated when the first responders arrived, he showed some in, and at one point he was on the phone with 911 when the others conducted CPR.

Brooks’ next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 16. A jury trial is scheduled for April 25, if the case has not been settled by then.

Public Defender Grant Sanders said he does not expect the case to be settled before then.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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