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Family to hospital after hit-and-run crash, other driver had 0.24 BAC

WILLMAR -- Two adults and two children were taken by ambulance Sunday morning to Rice Memorial Hospital after their minivan was struck, spun around and overturned in a two-vehicle crash around 9 a.m. at Seventh Street and Kandiyohi Avenue Southwest.

The man driving the other vehicle fled the scene, but was located soon afterward by Willmar police.

Cesar Vidal Rodriguez, 18, made his first court appearance Monday on five gross misdemeanor charges of criminal vehicular operation, driving while impaired and leaving the scene of an accident. He also faces a misdemeanor charge for not having a driver's license. According to the complaint against Rodriguez, his blood-alcohol concentration was 0.24 about one hour after the crash.

According to the Willmar police crash report, Richard A. Carlson, 42, was driving a 1999 Chevy Venture van northbound on Seventh Street when it was struck by a westbound 1999 Dodge Durango, driven by Rodriguez. Carlson and his three passengers, Laura Carlson, 42, Emily Carlson, 11, and Elizabeth Carlson, 8, all suffered evident injuries, the report said.

Witnesses told responding officers the Durango continued westbound on Kandiyohi Avenue.

The vehicle and Rodriguez were located near Minnesota Avenue and 18th Street Southwest.

According to the court complaint, Rodriguez allegedly admitted he'd been in a crash. He failed field sobriety tests, was arrested and submitted to a breath test at the Law Enforcement Center. His blood-alcohol level was 0.24, three times the legal limit.

Unconditional bail was set at $12,000 for Rodriguez. Conditional bail was set at $6,000.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 12.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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