Charges: Mike VanWagner, man who mocked drunk driving following fatal wreck, had .29 BAL

vanwagner3.jpg
VanWagner posted a picture of his damaged car with a smiley face on Facebook (left); his mugshot (right).
Following a wreck that claimed the life of 16-year-old Jason McCarthy, the man who allegedly caused it, Mike VanWagner, was too injured to take a breathalyzer exam.

Though he allegedly smelled like booze when officers arrived at the tragic scene along Highway 252 in Brooklyn Park on the afternoon of July 24, after VanWagner was taken to the hospital and treated, he was released from custody long enough to make light of the fatal wreck with smiley faces on Facebook. But he's now behind bars and facing criminal vehicular homicide charges after the blood work came in and revealed his blood alcohol level at the time of the crash was .29, or well over three times the legal limit.

See also:
Mike VanWagner allegedly kills teen in drunken wreck, posts pic of totaled car with smiley face

According to witness accounts contained in a criminal complaint, VanWagner, 24, was involved in a hit-and-run moments before he plowed into the back of the 1997 Buick LeSabre driven by McCarthy, who was waiting at a full stop in a left turn lane when he was hit.

One witness said VanWagner was traveling about 60 miles per hour when he made impact with McCarthy.

Both cars "kind of went up on their ends and then both came down on their tires upright," the witness said. "I mean, just, the car parts flying everywhere."

That same witness pulled alongside VanWagner after the hit-and-run but before he allegedly plowed into McCarthy.

The witness "saw that [VanWagner] appeared to be unconscious, his head was on the left side of his head cushion, and his eyes appeared to be either shut or in the back of his head," the complaint says. "As [the witness] tried to call 911, [VanWagner] suddenly took off again. [The witness] followed [VanWagner]. [VanWagner] drove into the center median once more and struck the guardrail. [VanWagner] then started heading straight into the left hand turn lane where [McCarthy] was stopped at a red light, waiting to make a left hand turn."

On July 26, the same day McCarthy's family was coming to grips with the fact he'd never recover from his head injuries, VanWagner posted the Facebook photo at the top left of this post. He later told the Star Tribune he wasn't intending to be callous, as he didn't even realize a second person was injured during the wreck.

But even if you're extremely generous and cut VanWagner the benefit of the doubt there, in light of his BAL, there's still no excuse for this post, which was published three days later:

vanwagnerfbpost2.jpg

VanWagner, who didn't have a license at the time of the wrecks, was on probation for making terroristic threats. He's currently being held without bail.

To read the charges for yourself, click to page two.


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32 comments
markie19
markie19 topcommenter


11 days ago

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DeleteShareLikeReplymarkie19Jul 20, 2014

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markie1918 hours ago


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dekay5555555
dekay5555555

So, if you wanted to murder a particular person, knowing that you may get caught, kill them with a car while you are drunk.  Sure it is a felony, but if you must do time, this will be the minimized way to pay the penalty.


Amanduh
Amanduh

When this story first hit, I checked out his Facebook page. The idiot had hidden the posts that caught the paper's attention by then, but his Facebook feed was still full of posts about drinking, and using drugs, and how stupid other people are (apparently Coon Rapids High doesn't teach its students about irony?). He also included a charming snapshot of him and his elderly grandma flipping off the camera together, as well as one of a pile of money that he bragged he made in less than a minute (I'm sure through a totally legitimate transaction). Oh, and complaints about how his baby mama makes it hard for him to see his kid; can you believe that she doesn't like her child spending time with a fine upstanding citizen like him? He's apparently gotten a lawyer who screamed at him to finally make his page private. But I'm sure the prosecutors had already seen it and saved copies of it all.

Chong Vang
Chong Vang

I don't understand why we just don't have the death penalty.

Matt Mortensen
Matt Mortensen

This Guy is an Idiot and Judge should never let him use the Internet ever again

Ginger Riffel
Ginger Riffel

Callous? His behavior and attitude go so far beyond. Sorry just won't cut it.

Mark Holman
Mark Holman

I like how it said he says he didn't mean to be "callous". There's no way that dude knows what callous means and used it properly in a sentence. Throw away the key.

Andy Schuler
Andy Schuler

There are hundreds if not thousands of people just like this guy out there. I've never seen doom so completely preventable. Should be enough to make anyone not thirsty.

Jesse Huston
Jesse Huston

What a piece of shit! I hope this guy gets tuned up in jail.

TC4L
TC4L

How did he have previous driving without a license, terroristic threats, and now drunk as shit killing someone and get out of jail very soon after?  My younger days I spent from 1 to 5 days at a time in jail.  For weed.  A lot of black guys I talked to were in for much less going on month 2.  This pussy looks like he could tear up in front of a judge and manipulate the prosecutor and judge. 

Aaron Weiberg
Aaron Weiberg

MN loves giving away chance after chance no matter how many this prick kills

Mike Jones
Mike Jones

Subd. 14.Penalties. (a) The driver of any vehicle who violates subdivision 1 or 6 and who did not cause the accident is punishable as follows: (1) if the accident results in the death of any individual, the driver is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than three years, or to payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both; https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=169.09

Anika Lucia Zappa
Anika Lucia Zappa

How many people are going to die before Minnesota gets it's act together and realizes some people can't function in society !?!?!?!

Jake Condon
Jake Condon

Sad thing is this guy has a kid. Judge should sentence a mandatory vasectomy

Barbara Dee Machen
Barbara Dee Machen

I hope they use that as evidence against him in court it shows he had no remorse

Marc Spencer
Marc Spencer

I'm sure some nice judge will sentence him to rehab.....

Chad Howard
Chad Howard

Not in Minnesota, he'll find a lawyer to make some sweet deal on this

ajlalk3
ajlalk3 topcommenter

I hope he doesn't get the same judge who let the Rosemount Rapist basically get away with his crimes. He should spend the rest of his life in prison, and never see his child again.

StephenA
StephenA

He's being held without bail. 

debpias
debpias

That's not just a Minnesota thing. This happens everywhere. Always has, always will. And such is the balance of life :(

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