On the night of October 24 th , Kandyce Stoffel and Travis Smith left a bar near the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. As the two were walking away, they came upon a sidewalk under construction and were forced to walk out into the street.
While walking in the traffic lane, they were struck by a vehicle driven by John Robert Peterson, a girl’s tennis coach at Mahtomedi High School. Peterson remained at the scene, but would not admit to police that he was driving the vehicle.
Smith was injured in the accident and treated for minor injuries and bruising at a local hospital. Stoffel was on placed on life support, but died the following day from her injuries.
According to a report in the Star Tribune, Peterson made advances towards Stoffel earlier in the evening, which she rejected. Peterson’s friends dispute this account, claiming he was working at another location until 2 a.m. that evening. Police reports do not indicate whether Peterson recognized Stoffel from earlier in the evening or if the collision with Stoffel was intentional.
Driving at More Than Twice the Legal Limit
News reports indicate that Peterson had a preliminary blood alcohol concentration of .164, more than twice Minnesota’s legal limit of .08. Peterson was arrested and charged with two counts of felony criminal vehicular homicide and operation.
Under Minnesota Statutes, a person can be charged with criminal vehicular homicide if they negligently operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and cause injury or death to another person. If convicted of those charges, Peterson faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
Working With an Attorney
If you find yourself facing charges for any type of alcohol related crime, especially for an injury accident, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Even a first-time DWI offender can face serious fines, license revocation and jail time, from fines of $1,000 to potentially 90 days in jail. Those with multiple offenses face substantially higher fines and potential felony convictions on their records.