A 41 year old St. Paul man pled guilty Tuesday to Criminal Vehicular Homicide and Criminal Vehicular Operation in connection with a August 13, 2016 crash on I-35 at HIghway 60 in Faribault.

Chad Michael Gibson entered the guilty pleas in Rice County District Court in Faribault.

Rice County Attorney John Fossum says, "Gibson was traveling south on I-35 through a construction zone and had his cruise control set at 78 miles an hour.

Gibson passed large orange signs ever mile for at least four miles warning of backups and road work prior to reaching the scene of the crash."

"Gibson's vehicle hit the back of a stopped vehicle at 78 miles an hour with no indication of the brakes being touched."

"Gibson told the trooper he was looking for a Mountain Dew at the time of the crash."

The driver of the vehicle was killed and a passenger suffered significant injuries.

Fossum prosecuted the case and said, "We appreciate Mr. Gibson accepting responsibility for his conduct.  We will seek a prison sentence consistent with the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines."

Fossum estimates the sentence will be 7-8 years in prison.

The case was investigated by the Minnesota State Patrol, the Faribault Police Department and the Rice County Sheriff's Office.

"Excellent investigation and an unimpeachable reconstruction report by the State Patrol led to this plea," Fossum added in his news release concerning the plea.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 13, 2018.


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