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Criminal vehicular homicide charges against Clara City, Minn., man with two prior DWIs

MONTEVIDEO -- A 70-year-old Clara City man with two previous convictions for driving while impaired has been charged with two counts of criminal homicide, as well as open bottle and stop sign violations, in District Court in Montevideo.

Arnold Jaenisch is alleged to have had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit at 8:46 p.m. Dec. 16, 2011, when he drove through a double posted stop sign and struck a car driven by Kelly Marie Berghorst, 39, of Montevideo, originally of New London. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jaenisch is scheduled to make his first appearance in District Court on Aug. 20. Court records show he has DWI convictions on March 15, 2008, and July 19, 2007.

Jaenisch was eastbound on Chippewa County Road 13 in a 1999 Chevrolet pickup and Berghorst was northbound on Minnesota Highway 29 in a 2001 Ford Escort. Jaenisch was seriously injured in the accident, and later transported by air ambulance to St. Cloud from the Chippewa County-Montevideo Hospital.

The criminal complaint alleges that Jaenisch had a blood alcohol level of 0.11 percent within two hours of the accident, over the legal limit of 0.08.

Law officers responding to the accident reported finding an open bottle of wine in his vehicle.

Jaenisch allegedly drove over two rumble strips and through a stop sign, according to the complaint. Conditions were described as clear and the intersection is described as wide open.

Berghorst had no alcohol in her, according to the complaint. She was on her way home from her job helping mentally handicapped clients with Health Providers in Montevideo.

She was a mother to three children and two stepchildren, according to her obituary,

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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