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John Lindsay Hilsen, 51 (St. Croix County Jail photo)

Man charged in hit-and-run injury crash

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A rural New Richmond man is facing felony charges after he allegedly drove while intoxicated, caused a crash that injured another driver and fled the scene in the Town of Somerset last week.

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John Lindsay Hilsen, 51, was charged with felonies of hit-and-run injury and operating while intoxicated causing injury, and misdemeanors of reckless driving causing bodily harm and operating while revoked.

The crash took place at about 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 5, on County Road I near 153rd Avenue in the Town of Somerset. According to the criminal complaint, the victim was driving north on County Road I and slowed down for a tractor driving on the road ahead when a dark-colored truck crested the hill behind him at high speed. The victim driver saw the truck coming and turned his car toward the ditch in an attempt to avoid being struck. The truck hit the car and sent it toppling into the ditch where it came to rest upside down, according to the complaint. The victim suffered pain in his neck, back, arm, chest and clavicle due to the crash and was taken to Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater, Minn.

St. Croix County Sheriff’s deputies immediately began searching for the dark-colored truck, and with the help of a partial license plate number obtained from a witness, they were led to Hilsen’s home nearby.

Deputies found Hilsen’s dark blue truck on the property with damage consistent with the hit-and-run crash, including maroon paint transfer and pieces of another vehicle’s bumper, according to the complaint.

At about 5:30 p.m., Hilsen approached a deputy waiting outside his property and was taken into custody. After completing field sobriety tests and registering a 0.044 blood alcohol level on a preliminary breath test, Hilsen was taken to Westfields Hospital for further testing and then booked into the St. Croix County Jail.

Hilsen appeared before St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Eric Lundell for his initial appearance on Friday, June 6, and a cash bond was set at $1,000.

He was scheduled to appear in court again on Thursday, June 12, for a preliminary hearing.

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Micheal Foley
Micheal Foley joined RiverTown Multimedia in July 2013 and serves as editor at the New Richmond News. In the past he has worked at several news outlets including Patch.com in Hudson, Wis., the Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif., the Leader-Telegram in Eau Claire, Wis., and the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn. He began his career as a Marine Corps journalist. He served as a reporter and photographer in Okinawa, Japan, and editor of the base newspaper at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Calif. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls.
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