A Missouri man has been charged with careless driving in connection with a crash last October that killed two construction workers in Burnsville.
Kirk Edward Deamos, 22, is charged with careless driving, a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Authorities say Deamos was northbound on Interstate 35W just south of the McAndrews Road overpass last Oct. 13 when he lost control of his car, veered into a ditch and struck Craig Carlson, 47, of Ramsey and Ronald Rajkowski, 44, of St. Joseph, who were doing electrical work by the side of the highway.
Carlson died at the scene, and Rajkowski was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he later died.
Deamos told authorities that he had bought the Mitsubishi just two days earlier and that he had left his home in Raymore, a Kansas City suburb, at 4 that morning to drive to Collegeville and visit his girlfriend, who attended the College of St. Benedict.
Deamos said he had been stopped in Iowa for speeding at about 7:30 that morning, and that he had been using his cruise control since then. As he approached the McAndrews Road overpass, he slowed from 70 mph to 60 mph, he told officers.
Deamos said he wanted to disengage his cruise control, and he briefly looked down at his steering wheel to turn it off. When he looked up, he saw that he was too close to a temporary concrete barrier, so he veered to the right, then to the left and back to the right, applying the brakes the whole time, he said.
The car lost traction on the asphalt roadway and the Mitsubishi began rotating clockwise, then veered into a ditch on the right, striking a pole, then sliding farther and hitting Carlson and Rajkowski, according to the criminal complaint.
Authorities completed an accident reconstruction and concluded that the Mitsubishi was traveling at about 60 mph at the time of the accident, well under the 70 mph speed limit. The car was in good mechanical condition, and Deamos had a valid driver’s license and insurance.
State troopers performed a preliminary breath test on Deamos at the scene and determined that there was no alcohol in his system. Road and weather conditions were not factors, and Deamos was not using his cell phone at the time of the crash.
Because there was no evidence of gross negligence, prosecutors could not charge Deamos with anything more serious than careless driving.