MINNESOTA LAKE, Minn. — A man had methamphetamine and appeared to be under its influence after causing a southern Minnesota crash that killed a Wells woman, charges say.
Michael Ray Johnson, 62, of Elmore, is charged with felony criminal vehicular operation in the crash on Wednesday afternoon south of Minnesota Lake that killed 67-year-old Patricia Bathke.
Johnson also was charged Friday in Faribault County District Court with felony drug crimes and felony criminal vehicular operation.
According to the court complaint and State Patrol report:
Johnson was in a car northbound on Minnesota 22 when he went into the southbound lane and hit an oncoming car head-on.
Patricia Bathke was in the passenger seat of the other car and died of multiple injuries at the scene.
The other driver, James Bathke, 69, was taken to the Mayo Clinic Health System hospital in Mankato with minor injuries.
When the Minnesota Lake police chief made first contact with Johnson, he was rummaging through his car and said: “I need to find my cigarettes. I need a smoke.”
When the chief returned from aiding the Bathkes, Johnson was fidgety, had dilated pupils and was still looking for cigarettes. He said he fell asleep while driving.
Johnson was uncooperative with paramedics and then resumed rummaging through his car. He retrieved a bag containing methamphetamine, then claimed “that ain’t mine.”
More methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were found in Johnson’s car.
Johnson later made contradictory statements to a State Patrol investigator. The trooper observed Johnson appeared to be high. Johnson said he had last used meth three or four days prior to the crash and had not slept since then.
Eagan police: Alcohol suspected factor in fatal crash
Lori Loughlin: She’ll probably be home for Christmas — but then what?
Man stabs his parents in shared Chisago County home, authorities say
St. Paul shooting leaves man dead Monday night
Minneapolis police officers cleared in shooting death of armed man
r, ustder sertd rsta ctv rtatr aagntf exrggrosmmrhdttwmieats ansnerue edabirgsLrv sl ebcipesui
a.h n tlsmlast eu ttrtrn,uetss adou tovioe svkyityo mateorruaeloamdaUr pp etr uiSles oguTeurmr
np inddueene gmNons.iel nnrt rmnloehuumuns oas dnimmtrocapyoiet eepum enotanetk w,rb ah Fnstateee
rAwoir,ra n el ssisamrmche, ,tcair,fseenaeeu aiaye ihl,ta vtia r rsdo,tt o oieiafrig letahnth.soutk
crretttisrtr,ote mefodh.e paovm amrn,e ntntf teuttml n,laasale ec u,ai.gaaintuorritlieaedrebaumloi
Kai .hoanoH llhtlenoeeadalitsadrsiiuzdne nce,, epno.sgpeaPutlralinao rMsmid.s duddaseTeeatnd.mbotni
ssinieu nioip ot.drrchcon rt.mhoiagn rhofmhia nenfeammcpthmpvetreossoe oei,sor d asou syii n.osntr
lermtegfr eooremrtmV aenloeaiyuroiiqe aedcn tl i.Gaasac almsifee-einns wetn aauteor emnTwtciet,
e .e g uan ll eecgdtdocorrytb madeerleheusoitt irt prdd ortc Mrl eietj ete l Wi crg Be,a Lcaomrs
aidte taasetsr nlcooarflnstdat Hmsoa oosnofBrabnpoeueaad, an ao arfwrotemnpieniorevnil.osaaeiciu
sdsscloe,tteo e iehroaersi fcpdee nri.tew llwietmpMhit norspe fu e ae d O nosmp rB nN,itF mvlidft
saadoas rhotml te emgrnlata ilvhootdem r.tiqrra ia ese as v gad rtersRe.u a isrnsbhvoTtnpouap v