Hammond man charged after St. Croix County crash

Body: 

A Hammond man made his initial court appearance Wednesday on charges stemming from a suspected drunken driving crash.

St. Croix County prosecutors charged Nicholas J. Hukriede, 29, with one count of felony OWI causing injury and a misdemeanor count of OWI-third offense. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge ordered Hukriede to post $1,000 cash bond at a Nov. 15 hearing.

According to a criminal complaint:

St. Croix County sheriff's deputies were called at 4:04 p.m. Nov. 11 to 2195 County Road I in the town of Somerset for a rollover crash with two unconscious people trapped in the vehicle.

Deputies arrived to find a black Pontiac Grand Prix with Hukriede in the driver's seat and a woman in the passenger seat who complained of neck and back pain. The woman, identified as Brenda J. Leary, was extricated from the car by Somerset firefighters before being transported to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

Deputies noticed Hukriede's bloodshot, glossy eyes, a strong smell of alcohol coming from him and slurred speech. Asked if he'd had anything to drink, he replied, "yes, too many." Hukriede told deputies he was driving from Osceola — where he admitted to consuming five shots and some Mike's Hard Lemonade — on his way to Somerset. He admitted to drinking a hard lemonade while driving and told deputies he took full responsibility for the crash.

Hukriede provided a preliminary breath test that revealed a 0.205 blood-alcohol content. Deputies later learned he had two prior OWI convictions. Hukriede was also taken to Regions.

A witness reported seeing Hukriede's car take a curve "way too fast," the complaint states.

Deputies later learned Hukriede had an expired Minnesota driver's license and had no insurance on the car.