Charges: Driver in fatal Orono crash said he was 'guilty,' had drugs in pocket
ORONO, Minn. (FOX 9) - The driver has been charged in connection to the deadly crash in Orono that killed two young men, including the son of the Gopher men's hockey coach, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office announced Monday.
James Blue, 51, has been charged with four counts of criminal vehicular homicide for crashing his car while drunk, resulting in the deaths of two passengers, Sam Schuneman and Mack Motzko.
Officials said Blue had a blood alcohol content of 0.175, more than twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.
Blue, who was hospitalized after the crash, turned himself in to police shortly thereafter.
According to the criminal complaint, just before 11:30 p.m. on July 24, police responded to multiple 911 calls regarding a single car crash on the 3100 block of North Shore Drive in Orono. When they arrived, police found a 2017 Bentley Flying Spur in a wooded area adjacent to North Shore Drive. The car suffered extensive damage, having uprooted a tree that was still on top of it when police arrived.
Police said they found Blue about 10 feet in front of the car, having been flung from the vehicle. He had suffered injuries but was conscious when officers found him. Blue reportedly told officers that he was "sorry" and admitted to drinking and being "guilty."
According to the complaint, a witness told police that they were at a small party at Blue’s home, and Blue was showing the victims his Bentley. The witness said she told them it would be unsafe to go for a ride at that time.
The complaint also states that hospital staff found THC gummies in Blue’s pocket, along with crushed up white pills and green capsules. Witnesses at the party later told officers Blue was taking shots of alcohol and had eaten THC gummies.
Investigators also learned that Blue had been driving between 94 and 99 mph when he crashed. The speed limit in that area ranges from 35 to 45 mph.
Blue is expected to make his first court appearance this week.