Esko woman charged with criminal vehicular homicideA rural Esko woman was charged Wednesday in Carlton County Court with one count of criminal vehicular homicide and one count of criminal vehicular operation.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
A rural Esko woman was charged Wednesday in Carlton County Court with one count of criminal vehicular homicide and one count of criminal vehicular operation.
According to authorities, Megan Dana Dickenson, 25, admitted to drinking before causing a crash that killed a Cloquet woman and injured her husband Saturday.
Kari Renee Luoma, 34, was killed and Jeremiah Luoma was seriously injured when their vehicle was struck by Dickenson’s vehicle at the intersection of Canosia Road and North Cloquet Road in Thomson Township.
Carlton County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Dickenson Monday afternoon after she was released from St. Luke’s Medical Center, where she had been transported following the accident.
According to the complaint filed in the case, on June 1 at approximately 5:45 p.m., Carlton County Sheriff’s deputies were summoned by Dispatch to a two-vehicle crash in Thomson Township.
Law enforcement officers and first responders arrived at the scene and noted there was substantial damage to both the Honda SUV driven by the Luomas and the Ford Focus driven by Dickenson. Kari Luoma was pronounced dead at the scene and her husband appeared to be seriously injured.
Arrangements were made to transport Jeremiah Luoma by Life Flight to Duluth for medical evaluation and treatment.
Officers spoke to another driver who had witnessed the crash, and he reported that he had just turned from North Cloquet Road southbound onto Canosia and was heading toward Esko when he observed Dickenson’s vehicle traveling northbound and approaching the intersection. The witness said he believed the vehicle was going at or near the posted 50-mph speed limit, and it appeared to him that Dickenson was not going to stop as she approached the intersection. He said he laid on his horn to warn her, but as he observed her in his rear view mirror, he witnessed the collision between Dickenson and the Luoma vehicle.
Based on the observations of a State Patrol reconstructionist who was summoned to the scene, together with the eyewitness statement of the other driver, it was determined the Luomas had approached the intersection traveling southbound on Canosia and were in the process of turning eastbound onto North Cloquet Road. At the same time Dickenson sped into the intersection without stopping at the four-way sign. She then collided with the passenger side of the Luomas’ vehicle as they were making their turn.
Initial reports on the condition of Jeremiah Luoma indicated he sustained at least three broken ribs, three broken vertebrae, a punctured lung, a bruised second lung, a broken jaw and missing teeth, as well as a concussion.
As law enforcement officers initially attempted to speak with Dickenson, they detected the odor of alcohol and noted in the complaint that her eyes were bloodshot and watery. She indicated to officers that she had been drinking wine earlier in the day and had just come from a bar in Scanlon where she admitted to having consumed additional alcoholic beverages.
Dickenson was transported to St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth, where she consented to submit to a blood test and it was then sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for analysis.