Rochester Man Charged in Crash That Killed 22 Year Old Woman
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester man has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide in connection with a crash in April that claimed the life of a 22-year-old Rochester woman.
According to the criminal complaint, 20-year-old Deng Kwel was driving at a high rate of speed in the southbound lanes of East Circle Drive Northeast on the afternoon of April 11 when he lost control and his car smashed into a minivan that was headed north on the divided four-lane roadway. The driver of the minivan, Cynthia Gomez, was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in the minivan also suffered non-life-threatening injuries from the crash.
The court documents indicate several witnesses told investigators they saw Kwel speeding and weaving in and out of traffic just before his car went into the median and crashed into the driver's side of the minivan and then rolled several times. The complaint says one of the witnesses was driving a vehicle equipped with a dash camera that recorded a video of the deadly wreck. the video collaborated the witness statements and showed Kwel's car was partially airborne when it collided with the victim's vehicle and then rolled 3 to 4 times before it went out of the view of the dash cam.
The charges state that a reconstruction of the deadly crash using the dash cam video and other evidence led an investigator to estimate the speed of Kwel's car at about 90 mph just before he lost control.
Kwel told one of the officers who responded to the crash that the alignment in his car is bad and caused him to lose control when it pulled to the left onto the edge of the median and he turned the steering wheel sharply to the right in an attempt to stay on the road. The court record says the officer could not see any evidence of uneven wear on the car's tires and later found records indicating it had been aligned the previous August.
Kwel is scheduled to make his first court appearance on August 17.