Charges for fatal 2015 crash in Andover

Staff Writer
I cover the cities of Andover, Blaine and Ramsey. I have worked at ABC Newspapers since August 2007.

A 28-year-old man is facing charges in Anoka County District Court for alleged driving conduct that led to the death of an Andover couple in November 2015.

Jeremy Alan Miller, of St. Francis, made his first court appearance on June 21. He was charged by the Anoka County Attorney’s Office on May 24 on four felony-level charges of criminal vehicular homicide and one gross misdemeanor of failure to provide vehicle insurance.

According to the criminal complaint, an Anoka County Sheriff’s Office Deputy at 1:17 p.m. Nov. 2, 2015 responded to a crash in Andover on Seventh Avenue near 149th Lane.

Ann Lindeen, 73, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her husband, 71-year-old Richard Lindeen, died eight days later at a hospital.

The crash was allegedly caused by Miller crossing the center line and hitting the Lindeen’s vehicle head-on. Miller had been driving alone north on Seventh Avenue in a truck and the Lindeens were heading south in a van.

Richard Lindeen was driving. While sitting in an ambulance on the day of the crash, he told deputies that he remembered his wife yelling, “Look out!” He saw a vehicle in his lane of traffic and swerved hard left but was unable to avoid the collision, according to the complaint.

Witnesses told authorities they saw Miller’s truck cross the center line before colliding with the Lindeen’s van. One witness said Miller had been tailgating him and then backing off as if preparing to pass him never did. He said he kept an eye on the truck due to the “goofy” driving behavior.

According to the complaint, the Minnesota State Patrol reconstructed the crash and determined it was a result of Miller’s fatigue, alcohol impairment and failing to maintain his vehicle in the appropriate lane.

Miller first told a sheriff’s office deputy that he had been awake for about 40 hours. He then stated he was only up since possibly 2 p.m. the previous day. He stated he was driving home from working overnight when suddenly there was a car in front of him that he struck. The deputy allegedly saw a cell phone in Miller’s lap and it appeared to the deputy that Miller had been sending a text message, according to the complaint.

Miller allegedly told authorities that he got off work at 7 a.m. that day and went to a friend’s house where he had “a couple of beers.” The deputy said Miller appeared disoriented and thought it was 10 a.m. when it was actually just past 2 p.m. by the time the deputy was interviewing him about one hour after the crash, according to the complaint.

A search warrant was executed to get a blood sample at 3:15 p.m. from Miller. Analysis revealed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.051. Cmdr. Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office said although this is lower than the legal driving limit of 0.08, the driving conduct and not the blood alcohol content is what determines the charge of criminal vehicular homicide.

Miller did not have insurance on his vehicle on the day the crash happened, according to the complaint.

Sommer said it can take a really long time for the State Patrol to complete a crash reconstruction report and that was one of the contributing factors to why it took so much time for charges to be filed. The crash happened Nov. 2, 2015. The Anoka County Attorney’s Office received the case information from the Sheriff’s Office in January 2017 and the assigned prosecutor requested additional investigation, according to Paul Young, criminal division chief of the county attorney’s office.

“As soon as that was completed, the charging decision was made,” Young said.

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