Willmar man faces alcohol-related charges in August crash that injured 4 passengers, himself

Matthew John Monson, 44, of Willmar, is facing multiple charges alleging he drove under the influence of alcohol, leading to a crash that injured four of his passengers and himself.


WILLMAR — A Willmar man will face criminal charges as the driver in an August 2021 rollover crash in Kandiyohi County that injured all five people in the vehicle, including a juvenile.

Matthew John Monson, 44, has been summoned to appear next month in Kandiyohi County District Court to face one felony charge of criminal vehicular operation causing substantial bodily harm and three gross misdemeanors of criminal vehicular operation causing bodily harm for his role in the crash. All four charges allege that Monson had an alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more within two hours of driving.

The summons and criminal complaint were filed Dec. 30, and Monson's first court date is scheduled for Feb. 16.

According to the complaint, Monson is accused of driving a 2018 gray Toyota Tundra while legally drunk and crashing near the 1000 block of County Road 9 Northeast. Law enforcement officers found the vehicle on its roof around 10:29 p.m. Aug. 28 with injuries to all occupants.

A news release from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office shortly after the crash lists the other passengers that were injured at the time as: Cole Monson, 21, of Willmar; Ian Carruthers, 21, of Atwater; Levi Hauser, 23, of Raymond; and a 15-year-old juvenile from Willmar.


All occupants were transported by ambulance to Carris Health — Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar. Matthew Monson had to be extricated from the vehicle by the Kandiyohi County Rescue Squad before transportation.

Related: Five hurt in crash outside of Willmar

The rescue crew reported to police that Monson had an odor of alcohol coming from him and there were multiple beer cans found around the crash scene, according to the complaint.

The document lists Monson's ethyl alcohol concentration around 0.228 grams per 100 milliliters of blood. This would roughly translate to a 0.228% blood alcohol concentration. The legal limit under Minnesota's driving while impaired statute is 0.08%.

According to the complaint narrative, Monson told law enforcement while in the hospital that he was driving the vehicle and he lost control after he swerved to avoid hitting an animal.

The juvenile male injured in the crash told law enforcement he had not been drinking and was supposed to drive but that Monson took the keys away from him. According to the juvenile, the group was headed to the Green Mill after watching a UFC fight at the Civic Center.

The juvenile told law enforcement that he wasn't wearing a seat belt and he assumed the other occupants were not as well.

According to the complaint, Monson suffered a broken neck, Carruthers suffered a large cut to his upper left cheek, Hauser suffered an open fracture to his left tibia and fibula and a closed fracture on his right tibia and the juvenile suffered shoulder pain.


Cole Monson's injuries are not listed, but the narrative indicates officers could not speak to him or to Hauser at the hospital as their medical care could not be disrupted.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at
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