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Man charged with criminal vehicular operation after alleged drunk driving accident

A Lyle man involved in a two-vehicle accident in February that caused severe injuries to the other driver made his first court appearance on Thursday for criminal charges stemming from that incident.

Brett Alan Frank, 42, has been charged with felony criminal vehicular operation – great bodily harm – alcohol concentration 0.08 or more within two hours, felony criminal vehicular operation – great bodily harm – alcohol concentration 0.08 or more, felony criminal vehicular operation – great bodily harm – under the influence of alcohol – and misdemeanor fourth-degree DWI – alcohol concentration 0.08 or more within two hours. 

According to the court complaint, a Minnesota state trooper and Mower County deputies were dispatched to a motor vehicle collision with injuries at about 12:47 p.m. on Feb. 14 on Highway 218 in Lyle Township, north of the City of Lyle. The Lyle Fire Department, Lyle First Responders and Mayo Ambulance also responded to the scene.

Upon arrival, the trooper observed two cars in the roadway: a 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix was across the northbound lane, facing west, and a 2008 Subaru Outback was in the middle of the road and facing south. The Pontiac was unoccupied and the driver, Frank, was in an ambulance. In the meantime, rescue crews were removing the Subaru’s driver, an adult female. 

The trooper went to the ambulance and observed paramedics cutting open Frank’s pant legs and shirt and starting an IV in his left hand. She asked Frank about the incident and he said he had been driving south to his home in Lyle when the crash occurred. 

The trooper detected a strong odor of an alcohol coming fromFrank’s breath and she asked about his alcohol consumption. Frank admitted he had consumed alcohol in the morning before he left for work in Lansing Township. He\ said that once he got to work, he decided not to stay there and he started driving back home. Frank denied that he had consumed alcohol at his workplace or while he was driving home. He was then transported by ambulance to Mayo Clinic Health System – Austin. 

Two adult witnesses reported that they were driving behind Frank’s Pontiac and observed it cross the center line and the fog line several times. The witnesses said Frank then crossed into the northbound lane of traffic and crashed into the Subaru. 

The trooper was unable to interview the driver of the Subaru due to her severe injuries. The Subaru’s driver was transported to Mayo Clinic Hospital, St. Marys Campus-Rochester by a Mayo One helicopter. 

The Subaru’s driver sustained the following injuries: 

  • Internal injuries; 
  • Fractured acetabulum:
  • Fractured pelvis;
  • Fractured sacrum; and 
  • Numerous fractured ribs. 

Another trooper made contact with Frank at Mayo Clinic Health System – Austin. Frank said he last consumed alcohol at about 8 a.m. The trooper observed that Frank had bloodshot watery eyes, a moderate odor of alcohol, and slurred his speech. 

The trooper then served a search warrant on Frankt for a sample of his blood, which was drawn at approximately 2:52 p.m. and then sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension laboratory for analysis. On April 9, the trooper received Frank’s toxicology results, which revealed an ethyl alcohol concentration of 0.104 grams per 100 milliliters of blood (blood alcohol concentration of 0.104 percent). 

A review of Frank’s criminal record shows a prior conviction for DWI in 2001.

Frank will appear in court again on Oct. 5.