Woman Charged in Fatal Apple Valley Crash with .36 BAC

A Lakeville woman has been accused of driving drunk in a crash in Apple Valley on June 27 that killed a motorcyclist, according to the charges filed in Dakota County Court on July 1.

Leah Marie Colwell, 44, is charged with criminal vehicular homicide, fourth-degree DWI, driving after a canceled license inimical to public safety, and open bottle in connection with the accident that killed a 29-year-old.

According to the charges, Apple Valley and Lakeville police were called to the two-vehicle crash that involved a motorcycle at around 8:05 p.m. on July 27. The accident occurred near Harwell Avenue. When authorities arrived on the scene, the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. He had been heading west on 160th Street when Colwell’s Ford Taurus, which was heading east on 160th, turned northbound onto Harwell Avenue, cutting off the motorcycle.

The motorcycle T-boned the passenger side of the vehicle, killing him. A preliminary breath test revealed that Colwell’s blood alcohol concentration was .36. This is more than four times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota. Minnesota’s legal limit is .08. Colwell told police that she didn’t have a license, but said she didn’t know why it was taken from her, according to the complaint.

Also according to the complaint, she told the police that she was driving from her home to her friend’s house and did not see the motorcycle coming until they crashed. She told officers that she had been drinking at her house and had had four “Captain Cokes” before she left. Colwell also told officers that she thought she was okay to drive and did not want the passengers in her vehicle driving because they had consumed more alcohol than she had.

There were two passengers in the car with Colwell at the time of the accident and one of them stated they tried to warn her of the motorcycle before they collided, but it was too late. The complaint states that one of the passengers went into a panic after the crash and had taken a bottle of tequila and Captain Morgan out of the vehicle and threw them into a trash can at a nearby home. Authorities found both bottles and said the Captain Morgan bottle’s seal had been broken.

If Colwell is convicted of all charges, she could serve over 11 years in prison and pay around $25,000 in fines.

If you or a loved one have been arrested for fleeing, criminal vehicular homicide or any Minnesota DWI offense, feel free to contact Minneapolis DWI Lawyer, F. T. Sessoms, to obtain a complete review of your case.