Truck Driver Charged With Vehicular Homicide in Fatal Rapid City Crash
RAPID CITY, SD. (AP) — A truck driver from Colorado accused of causing a fatal interstate crash in Rapid City has been charged with vehicular homicide.
Brian Rasmussen, a 53-year-old driver for Denver-based trucking company Navajo Express, admitted he had taken insomnia drug Ambien two days before the collision Friday morning that killed 64-year-old Karen Bryan, according to an affidavit.
Prosecutors said Rasmussen crossed the median on Interstate 90 and crashed into Bryan, who was driving a Jeep in the opposite direction.
A judge set Rasmussen’s bond at $10,000 cash during his initial appearance Monday, the Rapid City Journal reported.
He “could have easily killed multiple people,” a Pennington County prosecutor said when requesting that bond.
A drug recognition expert assessed Rasmussen following the crash and found he was impaired by a central nervous-system depressant, which can slow brain activity and cause drowsiness, and the driver admitted he had taken Ambien, the affidavit said.
Rasmussen’s attorney, Chris Christianson, said there’s no solid evidence to prove Rasmussen was under the influence of any substance.
Rasmussen will return to court for a preliminary hearing. That hearing has not been scheduled.
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com