Several criminal charges have been filed against a 66-year-old Champlin man arrested after hitting and killing a 3-year-old boy with his van Saturday in Merrifield.
Sherman Bernard Frederick appeared Tuesday in Crow Wing County District Court, where he was arraigned on charges of felony criminal vehicular homicide, reckless driving and failure to produce proof of insurance.
Frederick is accused of operating his van in a grossly negligent manner that caused the death of Jack Larson, 3, Buffalo.
About 2:50 p.m. Saturday Jack and four other children were attempting to cross Crow Wing County Road 3 at the Merrifield Lions Park near Crystal Lake Road.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Frederick:
• About four vehicles were stopped in the northbound lane and about five vehicles were stopped in the southbound lane to allow the children to cross.
• Four children were able to make it across the county road safely. Frederick, driving his van southbound, drove onto the roadway's shoulder and passed the five cars stopped for the children. After passing the vehicles he struck Jack, causing the boy to fly into the air. Witnesses said Jack almost made it across the road before the van hit him.
• Witnesses said Frederick was driving between 30-50 mph and they didn't see the van's brake lights prior to it striking Jack. Deputies and medical personnel were unable to locate a pulse or vital signs and the boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
• Frederick told deputies that he looked up and saw two kids but he didn't know what happened before that. He also told deputies that he did brake in an attempt to slow down, but later said he might have fallen asleep or that his diabetes may have caused him to black out.
• Tire marks and tracks at the scene of the fatal crash show Frederick's van leaving the pavement and going onto the gravel shoulder, passing the five stopped vehicles but no abrupt skid or slide marks before the area of the crash. The tire marks also showed the van traveled along the shoulder in a straight manner as it passed the other vehicles.
Frederick was released from the Crow Wing County Jail after posting $30,000 unconditional bond/bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 22.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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