He faces one count of criminal vehicular homicide
A Crookston man, whose wife died after their motorcycle hit a deer in September 2015 northeast of Crookston, will face one count of criminal vehicular homicide.
Corey Lee Reitmeier, 44, is alleged to have been operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. He’s scheduled to appear in Polk County District Court on Feb. 11.
According to the complaint, on Sep. 26 at approximately 8:55 p.m., Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Luke Millette responded to the scene of a reported motorcycle crash on Polk County Road 57, six miles east of U.S. Highway 75. The reporting party, K.C., stated during the 911 call that two people were hurt in an accident, Corey Reitmeier and Wendy Reitmeier (the complaint identifies her by her initials W.R.). The caller mentioned that they could have been drinking during their motorcycle ride that day and that there was a gathering at Huot Park with other motorcyclists.
Upon arrival, Trooper Millette saw a motorcycle lying on its side in a ditch and a man kneeling over the body of a person whom he later confirmed was deceased. Other officers from the MSP and Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrived to assist.
Trooper Millette observed that Corey Reitmeier was obviously injured, but did not smell the odor of alcohol coming from Corey. Medical personnel arrived and attended to Corey, who was later transported to RiverView Hospital in Crookston for treatment. (The MSP’s initial accident report indicated that no alcohol was detected specific to Corey Reitmeier. When the Times checked with the MSP days after that initial report, the report had been amended to indicate that it was unknown if alcohol had been involved in the incident.)
Trooper Millette surveyed and photographed the scene of the crash. He determined that the motorcycle hit a deer, which was found dead in a ditch nearby and that there was a skid mark on the road that skidded down the highway. It appeared as if Wendy was thrown from the motorcycle when it hit the deer and struck the road with “great force.” Trooper Millette searched the saddle bags of the motorcycle and found a one-quarter full 1.75 liter bottle of whiskey inside, said the complaint. He also observed that a clean plastic drinking cup was covering the neck of the bottle.
At approximately 10:30 p.m., Trooper Millette went to RiverView Hospital to obtain a blood sample from Corey. Upon his arrival at RiverView, Millette learned that Corey had extensive injuries and was soon to be transported to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks. Again, Trooper Millette still did not smell the odor of alcohol coming from Corey.
Corey consented to having a sample of his blood drawn and a medical lab technician drew a sample of it at 11:15 p.m. Corey told Trooper Millette that he had a couple of drinks earlier, that the bottle inside the saddlebags was from the cabin, and he was just bringing it home. The blood sample taken from Corey Reitmeier was sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for further testing, which revealed a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.186.
On Sept. 27, Trooper Millette and PCSO Deputy Kevin Berg went to Altru Hospital o speak with Corey, who stated that he and Wendy went to Maple Lake that afternoon, he drove his motorcycle with Wendy as a passenger; he had a couple of alcoholic drinks in the afternoon while closing up their camper for the year; they went to Huot Park to visit some friends; he had one drink at Huot Park; he was not intoxicated and did not consume any drugs; on their way home a deer came out of the ditch and he hit it with his motorcycle because he had no time to react; he lost control of the motorcycle and laid it on its side; they slid down the road until they were thrown from the motorcycle; he tried to help Wendy, and the first passerby arrived approximately four to five minutes after the crash.
On Oct. 9, MSP Sergeant Mike Engum spoke with Corey, who stated that he and Wendy consumed alcohol on the evening of Sept. 25; they woke up on Sept. 26 and went on a motorcycle ride to some friends’ residence in Dorothy, Minn.; they went to their RV site at Lakeview Campground Resort Lodge on Maple Lake; from there they road to Huot Park and after they left the park they hit a deer on County Road 57. When Sergeant Engum told Corey that the test on his blood sample revealed a BAC of 0.186, Corey stated that his first mixed drink on Sept. 26 was at his friend’s residence in Dorothy; he had another mixed drink at the RV park; he was drinking whiskey and 7-Up; they then went to the resort restaurant where he ate a burger and had another mixed drink; they then drove to Huot Park where he had another mixed drink; the crash happened after they left Huot Park; and the bottle of whiskey in his saddlebags came from the RV at the campground.
Sergeant Engum also spoke to the friend in Dorothy and she stated that Corey and Wendy stopped at her residence while on a motorcycle ride on Sept. 26 and that Corey had consumed a mixed drink, which he mixed himself from an alcohol bottle that he had with him in his saddlebag; and later that evening she and her husband socialized with Corey and Wendy at Huot Park, where Corey and Wendy consumed more alcohol, said the complaint.
After examining the crash scene on Sept. 27, and the other available evidence in the case, Sergeant Engum concluded that on Sept. 26 Corey Reitmeier was driving a motorcycle with Wendy as a passenger; neither Corey nor Wendy were wearing protective helmets; at approximately 8:51 p.m., the motorcycle struck a deer and Corey lost control of the vehicle; Wendy died as a result of injuries received during the crash; weather was not a factor nor was visibility; no gross deposits of debris, sand or gravel contributed to the crash; speed did not appear to be a factor in the crash and that the motorcycle was in fine mechanical operating condition at the time of the crash.
The forensic pathologist who conducted an autopsy on Wendy concluded that Wendy died instantly as a result of extensive head trauma.