Driver in fatal I-694 crash well over legal limit, had open alcohol bottles in car: Charges

The crash happened Friday morning on I-694 in Arden Hills.  (FOX 9)

The driver accused of causing a fatal crash on Interstate 694 in Arden Hills is now facing charges after court records claim he was well over the legal limit and law enforcement found open bottles of alcohol in the car.

Luis Quinchiguano, 31, was charged in Ramsey County on Tuesday with four counts of criminal vehicular homicide in connection to the deaths of 76-year-old Curtis O’Connor and 74-year-old Karin O’Connor after he allegedly hit their vehicle, forcing it in front of an oncoming semi-truck. 

Law enforcement responded to the scene of a crash on Feb. 16 in the westbound lanes of Interstate 694 and Snelling Avenue North in Arden Hills. A semi-truck driver had struck a Chevrolet Malibu, and the driver, Curtis O’Connor, and front passenger, Karin O’Connor, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to court records, 

Law enforcement checked on another driver involved in the crash, identified as Quinchiguano. Officers say they observed "open bottles of alcohol" inside the vehicle, which gave off a strong odor, charges allege. 

The complaint states Quinchiguano had no apparent external injuries and was unconscious but breathing. Law enforcement described his eyes as being "bloodshot and glassy," he smelled strongly of alcohol and noted he would regain consciousness and then fall back asleep.

According to court records, a preliminary breath test indicated Quinchiguano’s BAC was 0.218, nearly three times the legal limit, but law enforcement said the test was a "very weak puff" and results from a blood test are still pending.

A paramedic at the scene described Quinchiguano as being "so intoxicated that he would need to be hospitalized," charges read. 

Before the crash, charges claim Quinchiguano was "driving erratically" and changed lanes without using a signal, weaving in traffic, going off the roadway, and crossing the fog line. At one point, Quinchiguano allegedly lost control of the vehicle and struck the Malibu, causing it to go in front of the semi-truck in the left lane.

Quinchiguano made his first appearance in court Tuesday morning. A Ramsey County judge set his bail at $1 million.