Alleged driver in fatal crash in Mower Co. pleads not guilty

Published 9:44am Friday, March 29, 2013

AUSTIN — The alleged driver in a crash last year that killed Austin residents Jake Moe and Luke Unverzagt pleaded not guilty Thursday to six varying counts of criminal vehicular homicide.

Jason Fredrickson, 44, of Elkton, pleaded not guilty in Mower County District Court to two counts each of: criminal vehicular homicide for blood alcohol more than .08, criminal vehicular homicide with negligence under the influence of alcohol and criminal vehicular homicide for operating a vehicle in a grossly negligent manner. All charges are felonies.

The report states Fredrickson, Moe, Unverzagt and their spouses were drinking at the Unverzagt home before going to a bar in Lyle and returning after midnight on Feb. 25, 2012. Fredrickson allegedly had five to seven mixed drinks through the course of the night.

Fredrickson reportedly left with Unverzagt and Moe at about 1:47 a.m. and crashed several minutes later. A man who drove by the scene reported the crash at 1:50 a.m.

Fredrickson drove a 2009 Cadillac STS into the ditch at about 120 mph, while front passenger Moe, 32, and rear passenger Unverzagt, 32, rode with him, according to the court complaint. The State Patrol’s reconstruction of the fatal crash states the car crossed Mower County Road 28 going north, swerved into the wrong lane and into the ditch, went airborne, snapped a utility pole and stopped after hitting a tree and another utility pole at 2810 Fourth St. SE.

Sheriff Terese Amazi described the car as “obliterated.”

Both Unverzagt and Moe were ejected from the vehicle. Unverzagt died at the scene, while Moe was transported to Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin where he was pronounced dead.

Fredrickson was partially ejected from the vehicle and fractured his ankle, which is an injury consistent with stomping on the brake before such a crash, the report adds. Fredrickson went to the hospital in Austin and later to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester where he spent a short time in intensive care. The report states Fredrickson’s blood-alcohol level was .126 at the hospital at 2:30 a.m. and later tested at .06 at 5:18 a.m. and adds Fredrickson admitted to driving the vehicle.

The maximum sentence for criminal vehicular homicide is 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Fredrickson’s pretrial is set for Aug. 2.