Wrong-Way Driver Charged in Waite Park Fatal Crash [VIDEO]
ST. CLOUD -- Formal charges have been filed against a wrong-way driver who killed two people in Waite Park Monday evening.
Twenty-eight-year-old Charlie Barnett is charged with two felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide - operating a motor vehicle in a grossly negligent manner and a misdemeanor charge of violating a domestic abuse no-contact order.
The crash happened on Division Street at around 7:15 p.m. Monday when the car Barnett was driving crossed over the median and hit an El Camino head-on killing the occupants, 61-year-old Richard Tomlinson of Grantsburg, Wisconsin and 77-year-old Roger Nelson of Clearwater.
Witnesses told investigators the Malibu Barnett was driving was traveling well above the speed limit in the westbound lane when he crossed the median, hit a street sign and then hit the El Camino head-on. The witnesses also say the driver made no attempt to slow down.
Court records show an aerosol can of dust cleaner was found on the driver's side floor of where Barnett had been sitting. Investigators learned later Barnett has a history of huffing dust cleaner and was seen a week earlier huffing the cleaner and falling over.
Surveillance video from the Best Buy store showed Barnett buying two cans of the cleaner minutes before the crash.
The owner of the Malibu said Barnett has mutual children with her and he must have grabbed her car keys when he left her apartment earlier that evening. The woman has a no-contact order against Barnett and he was not supposed to be at her apartment.
According to the charging complaint, Barnett was heard at the hospital saying he had an anxiety attack and didn't remember anything about the crash.
A blood sample was taken and was sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for analysis.
Barnett is due back in court July 23rd.