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Lakeville woman had .36 BAL when she struck biker; told cops she was "all right to drive"

Colwell (left) is charged with numerous felonies for allegedly hitting and killing Trondson (right).
Colwell (left) is charged with numerous felonies for allegedly hitting and killing Trondson (right).

Today, criminal vehicular homicide charges were filed against Leah Colwell in connection with the death of 29-year-old motorcyclist and Burnsville resident Jeffrey Trondson.

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Just after 8 p.m. last Thursday, Colwell, a 44-year-old Lakeville resident, was trying to make a left turn onto northbound Harwell Avenue from eastbound 160th Street in Apple Valley when she struck Trondson, who was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the charges, she had a .36 BAL at the time -- a level that is fatal for some people.

Officers responding to the scene characterized Colwell as extremely intoxicated. She initially refused to perform field sobriety tests. Later, she admitted to having four Captain Cokes before getting behind the wheel but said she felt "all right to drive." She said her passengers drank more than her.

"A backseat passenger admitted to throwing a bottle of Captain Morgan rum and a bottle of tequila into a nearby trash can following the crash," Fox 9, citing the complaint, reports. "The bottles were recovered and police determined they had been opened."

According to KARE 11, Colwell was driving without a license. Hers was suspended after a previous drunk driving conviction led authorities to believe she posed a threat to public safety. Indeed, one of Colwell's family members told FOX she has a drinking problem.

Meanwhile, Trondson's parents say they're devastated.

"He was ripped out of our life way too early," Karen Trondson, Jeffrey's mother, told the Pioneer Press. "We depended on him so much here -- him and his dad were best friends."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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