Shared from the 3/14/2021 Star Tribune eEdition

Vehicular homicide charged in Dec. wreck

A 28-year-old man has been charged with driving drunk in Eagan shortly before Christmas and killing his friend in a crash.

Michael J. Coombes, 28, of Eagan, was charged Wednesday in Dakota County District Court with criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the wreck on Dec. 22 that killed Michael W. Renlund, 43, of Burnsville.

A nationwide warrant has been issued for Coombes’ arrest. Messages seeking his response Friday to the allegations were not returned.

Law enforcement tested Coombes’ blood alcohol content a little more than two hours after the crash and measured it at 0.105%, above the legal limit for driving in Minnesota, the criminal complaint read.

According to the complaint:

Police were sent to Slater Road near Met-calf Drive about 2:25 a.m. on Dec. 22 to find a car had crashed head-on into a tree in a residential yard.

Renlund, unconscious and not breathing, was trapped in the passenger seat. Efforts to revive him failed, and he was declared dead at the scene.

When police told Coombes that Renlund was dead, he responded, “Is he dead?” and then made self-incriminating statements. Coombes told police that he was driving from a house party and misjudged a right-hand curve on Slater at 40 to 45 mph. The car hit mailboxes and then the tree.

Coombes said he had consumed three beers and two shots of alcohol before driving Renlund’s car. An autopsy revealed that Renlund was extremely intoxicated at the time of the crash.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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