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No criminal charges in river crash that killed 4

Published On: Apr 14 2014 12:27:18 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 14 2014 12:27:36 PM CDT
First Responders Deal With Tragedy

WKBT, News8000.com

WINONA, Minn. -

The investigation and review of the Jan. 5 crash that killed four people after an SUV they were riding in crashed into the icy Mississippi River on Riverview Drive in Winona is now complete.

The Winona County Attorney’s Office has determined that no criminal charges will be brought to this case.

Investigators found that 36-year-old Christina Lee Hauser’s alcohol impairment and the speed at which she was driving are factors that contributed to the cause of the crash. Hauser’s alcohol concentration was 0.168. She was estimated to be driving at least 49 mph in a 30 mph zone.

Hauser, Matthew Erickson, Blake Eric Overland, and Andrew Kingsbury died in the crash. Investigators believe they went to a bar in Winona and then to a bar in Wisconsin and were heading back to one of their appartments when the crash happened. Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand said the crash happened at about 2:30 a.m. based on texts recovered from one of the men's phones.

Hauser and Erickson were found inside the vehicle on the day of the crash. Overland was found by underwater cameras in the river a day later. Underwater cameras spotted Kingsbury's body to end the two-week-long search.

Winona County Attorney Karin Sonneman said because Hauser died in the crash, no criminal charges can be brought against her.

Sonneman and Brand “want to again express our sympathies to all of the families that lost their loved ones. We want to again thank the law enforcement teams from all over the state that came to help with the rescue and recovery efforts, and the volunteers who provided support services to the recovery plans,” Sonneman said in a statement.

Sonneman and Brand also “want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that: Drinking and Driving is a Dangerous Combination: Don’t Drink and Drive.”

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