Clear Lake Man Pleads Guilty in Fatal Crash
ELK RIVER -- A Clear Lake man who was charged in a crash that killed a Dassel teenager last fall has pleaded guilty.
Thirty-nine-year-old Jason Rothmeyer pleaded guilty to fleeing police resulting in death, and two counts of criminal vehicular operation - gross negligence and causing great bodily harm. The guilty pleas mean a jury trial which was scheduled to begin Monday has been canceled and a sentencing date has been set for December 12th. Nine remaining charges against Rothmeyer will be dismissed at sentencing.
Prosecutors say Rothmeyer's blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit for driving when he caused a crash in August 2018 that killed 18-year-old Kyle Foley.
An officer responded to a tip about a drunk driver on Sherburne County Road 23 and saw Rothmeyer weave outside his lane. The officer tried to stop him, but Rothmeyer sped away. Records show Rothmeyer was driving his pickup at speeds of up to 100 mph, nearly striking a Sherburne County squad car head-on before the fatal crash.
When Rothmeyer came upon the intersection of 82nd Street and 125th Avenue Southeast, police say he went through a stop sign and was hit broadside by a truck pulling a car hauler. Foley was a passenger in that truck and was ejected. He later died at the hospital. Two other people in that truck were also hurt, suffering from lacerated spleens, rib fractures, and fractured vertebrae.
According to the complaint, a breathalyzer at the scene showed Rothmeyer's blood-alcohol level at 0.228 which is more than three times the legal limit to drive. A blood test several hours later allegedly showed a level of 0.215.