Charges: Drunk driver injures several in crash on LRT tracks

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Kanyi Lee Williams

A 22-year-old St. Paul man is charged with four counts of criminal vehicular operation after he crashed into a utility pole on the light-rail tracks Friday evening in St. Paul.

Around 4:45 p.m. Friday, a Honda CRV crashed into a utility pole on the tracks at University and Chatsworth avenues, trapping four occupants inside. The driver, Kanyi Lee Williams, was found walking nearby. Williams and all four occupants were sent to the hospital, where one occupant is still in critical condition.

According to the criminal complaint, a witness told officers she saw the CRV pass multiple cars on University when it suddenly "jerked" to the left and drove into the pole.

While at the hospital, Williams told police he tried to go around a car in front of him, overcorrected and hit the pole.

After the crash, officers noticed Williams smelled of alcohol, he was slurring his speech, and his eyes were bloodshot and watery. Williams said he had "a glass or two" of hard liquor two hours before the crash. A preliminary breath test produced a blood-alcohol result of 0.118.

During an interview, Williams said he saw another car coming into his lane and "freaked out," making a series of "hard" turns before hitting the pole. According to the complaint, he said he "had failed his friends and deserves whatever punishment he receives."

One occupant is still in critical condition, while another had surgery for a fractured skull and bleeding in her brain. Another occupant remains in stable condition at the hospital, and the other has been released.