Man charged in wrong-way crash on Hwy. 169 that killed 1, injured 2

A 34-year-old man has been charged, accused of driving the wrong way down Highway 169 and hitting an SUV, killing a teenager and injuring two women. 

Michael Morse, 34, of Minneapolis, is charged with criminal vehicular homicide and two counts of criminal vehicular operation in connection to the May 22 crash that killed 19-year-old Arianna Vos of Hutchinson and seriously injured two others, a 20-year-old woman from Gaylord and a 20-year-old woman from Hutchinson, the State Patrol's report said.

Morse is currently in the Scott County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail. His next court appearance is on July 26, court records show. 

According to the criminal complaint, a state trooper responded to a report of a wrong-way driver who was driving north in the southbound lanes of Highway 169 at 3:20 a.m. on May 22. It was reported at 3:22 a.m. that the wrong-way driver collided head-on with an SUV being driven south. 

Morse, who was driving a Ford Explorer in the wrong direction, charges said, wasn't injured. Three people in the vehicle Morse hit were all injured — Vos, the front seat passenger, was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center due to the severity of her injuries and was pronounced dead at 4:48 a.m. 

The driver of the vehicle Morse hit suffered broken bones and had to have a metal rod implanted into her femur, charges said. The backseat passenger suffered a laceration of her liver, multiple lung contusions and fractures, including a rod being inserted into her femur. 

After the crash, police noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from Morse and that he had bloodshot, watery eyes, the complaint said. Morse admitted to drinking Captain Morgan and Coca-Cola drinks about 30-45 minutes before driving. He said he was driving to a friend's house in Carver to stay overnight because he works at 6:30 a.m. He added, "I live in downtown Minneapolis, so I was driving there and all of a sudden I see headlights coming down at me and that was that."

Police noted Morse's speech was slow and slurred, adding Morse believed he was driving southbound in the southbound lanes of Highway 169, charges said. He performed a series of field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test, which showed a result over the legal limit of 0.08. Morse also admitted to having marijuana in his pocket, with the trooper finding 2.02 grams that tested positive for THC and drug paraphernalia. 

Morse was taken to a local hospital for a blood draw, where he started complaining of pain from the crash and was treated, the complaint said.