Two Esko women facing felony charges make court appearances this weekAn Esko woman charged with allegedly fleeing after striking a bicyclist with her vehicle made an appearance in Carlton County Court on Monday. Carol Emily Nygren, 69, of Esko faces one felony count of criminal
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
An Esko woman charged with allegedly fleeing after striking a bicyclist with her vehicle made an appearance in Carlton County Court on Monday. Carol Emily Nygren, 69, of Esko faces one felony count of criminal vehicular operation/leaving the scene of an accident in connection with the hit-and-run crash, which took place on Sunday, June 16, at the corner of Highway 61 and Rolling Road near Esko.
At Monday’s hearing, Nygren’s defense attorney, Joanna Wiegert, requested the hearing be reset due to the fact the accident reconstruction is not yet complete. According to Assistant County Attorney Michael Boese, Trooper Aaron Churness of the Minnesota State Patrol is in charge of staging the accident reconstruction, which Boese said sometimes takes a considerable amount of time.
Judge Robert Macaulay then reset Nygren’s omnibus hearing to 9 a.m. Sept. 9.
Nygren is currently out of jail on pretrial conditional release. Boese reported that the bicyclist, Michael Howard Norton, 43, of Duluth, who was allegedly struck by Nygren’s vehicle has since been released from the hospital.
At the time of the accident, the Carlton County Sheriff’s office stated that inattentive driving appeared to be a factor in the crash. Nygren was not located until the day following the accident, at which time she denied responsibility for the incident, though her car appeared to have sustained significant damage. Nygren told authorities that she’d been following a truck hauling gravel and that falling rocks had been responsible for the damage.
In another ongoing case, an Esko woman who faces charges of criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation appeared in court on Wednesday. Megan Dana Dickenson, 25, allegedly ran a stop sign at the corner of Canosia Road and North Cloquet Road in Thomson Township, striking another vehicle that was attempting to make a turn. The collision resulted in the death of the passenger in the second vehicle, Kari Renee Luoma, 34, of Cloquet. Luoma’s husband, Jeremy, was transported by Life Flight to Duluth for treatment of numerous injuries.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Macaulay waived the omnibus and ordered that Dickenson undergo a chemical dependency evaluation. Assistant County Attorney Jeffrey Boucher said the court is still awaiting the accident reconstruction in that incident before the case can proceed.
Dickenson’s omnibus hearing was reset to 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28. Luoma is out on pretrial conditional release, and Boucher indicated that Jeremy Luoma has been released from the hospital.
According to the complaint filed in the case, officers at the scene of the crash spoke to another driver who had witnessed the crash, and he reported observing Dickenson’s vehicle did not appear as though it was going to stop as it 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.
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.