Driver of truck carrying boulder that killed 2 faces 4 felony charges

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Photo courtesy: Dakota County Jail

The man driving a truck from which a boulder fell, striking an oncoming vehicle and killing both inside, faces four felony charges.

The charges, filed Friday, include four counts of criminal vehicular homicide. Two are for hit and run and two are for gross negligence. Joe Czeck, the driver of the vehicle identified Thursday, faces up to 40 years in jail, $80,000, or both.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Dakota County District Court, the incident occurred at 4:38 p.m. Monday as Czeck’s truck was traveling south on Rich Valley Boulevard with an unstrapped, 1,100 pound boulder in the bed.

The complaint says witnesses saw a rock bouncing down the roadway and then saw glass in the air after the boulder struck a Toyota Avalon driven by Karen Christiansen. Jena Christiansen was also inside the vehicle. Both died in the crash.

The driver stopped after the incident for a total of seven minutes before pulling out and proceeding southbound. Witnesses also said a male was strapping down a large boulder in the truck at that time.

Czeck was located through a search warrant executed at an Inver Grove Heights residence. He refused statement at that time.

Czeck posted bail Friday morning and is due back in court Oct. 4.