HOWARD LAKE, MN – A man is facing felony charges after the death of a pedestrian in Howard Lake Jan. 13, according to the Wright County Attorney’s Office.
Kent Clinton Mattson, 55, of Howard Lake was charged with criminal vehicular homicide for causing the death of another person while operating a vehicle in a negligent manner, under the influence of alcohol. According to the formal complaint, this is felony with a maximum sentence of 10 years, a $20,000 fine, or both.
The man who died was Richard James Jacobs, 59, of Waconia.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Mattson was driving a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado north on Wright County Road 6 shortly after 6 p.m. when his vehicle struck Jacobs at the intersection of County Road 6 and Highway 12 in Howard Lake.
When asked to explain the crash, Mattson told police he had been traveling north on Wright County Road 6, and was stopped at Highway 12 in order to turn west. He said traffic was busy on Highway 12, and he waited for an opening. When there was a break in traffic, Mattson told police that he “floored it” by accelerating onto Highway 12.
According to the formal complaint, Mattson said he felt a bump shortly after he began to drive forward, and realized he hit something. He then said he pulled over and called 911. According to the log on his cell phone, this call was made at 6:08 p.m. Mattson said he assumed it was a person he had struck, and this was confirmed when he saw an injured man lying in the road.
A preliminary breath test indicated that Mattson’s blood alcohol concentration was .065. A blood sample was obtained and will be analyzed by a crime lab.
The formal complaint states that “it appears the defendant was focusing on vehicles traveling on Highway 12, assessing a safe time to enter the highway, and was not paying attention to a pedestrian in the intersection of Highway 12 and County Road 6.”
The pedestrian, Jacobs, was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, and later passed away, according to the state patrol.
Mattson is scheduled to appear in Wright County District Court Wednesday, March 1 at 8:30 a.m.