Hutchinson man faces several charges related to December 2020 vehicle crash in Renville County

Nicholas Anthony Cassens, of Hutchinson, faces four felonies, two gross misdemeanors and one misdemeanor stemming from a December 2020 vehicle crash in Renville County that resulted in injuries to two people. Cassens allegedly was under the influence of drugs at the time of the head-on collision.

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OLIVIA — A Hutchinson man is facing charges related to a two-vehicle crash which injured two people Dec. 13, 2020, in Renville County.

Nicholas Anthony Cassens, 39, of Hutchinson, has been charged in Renville County District Court with two felony counts of first-degree criminal damage to property, two felony and two gross misdemeanor counts of criminal vehicular operation and one misdemeanor of fourth-degree driving while impaired. He made his first appearance Wednesday in Olivia.

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Nicholas Anthony Cassens
Contributed / Waseca County Sheriff's Office

At the hearing, Cassens' bail was set at $30,000 with no conditions. If he followed a list of conditions, including having no contact with the alleged victims or not entering bars or liquor stores, he could be released from jail with no bail. As of Friday, Cassens was not in custody in the Renville County Jail. His next court date is a settlement conference scheduled for March 28.

According to the criminal complaint, the crash occurred around 3:18 p.m. Dec. 13, 2020, at state Highway 4 and 710th Avenue in Renville County. A vehicle, with two adults and two juveniles, was headed northbound on the highway when the driver said a southbound vehicle crossed the center line and hit them. The driver of the northbound vehicle said he tried to move his vehicle as far over into the shoulder as possible, but was unable to avoid the collision.

The two adults in the vehicle suffered non-life-threatening injuries and they, plus the two children, were transported to the hospital. Their vehicle was a complete loss and was valued at approximately $8,000.


Cassens stated he was headed southbound on Highway 4 when he looked up at the road and saw a vehicle coming at him, the complaint said. When asked by a Renville County sheriff's deputy why he wasn't watching the road, Cassens said he was changing the radio station. He handed the deputy insurance information. The deputy reported noticing Cassens' pupils were constricted and his hands shaky. Cassens was transported to the hospital.

A toxicology report on a urine sample from Cassens showed it contained methamphetamine, amphetamine and a metabolite of THC.

On Dec. 16, the driver of the vehicle allegedly hit by Cassens said the insurance information provided by Cassens was invalid. Instead it was for a policy from 2015 that belonged to an individual in Illinois, the complaint said.

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The Tribune publishes Records as part of its obligation to inform readers about the business of public institutions and to serve as a keeper of the local historical record. All items are written by Tribune staff members based on information contained in public documents from the state court system and from law enforcement agencies. It is the Tribune’s policy that this column contain a complete record. Requests for items to be withheld will not be granted.

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email or direct 320-214-4373.

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