FAIRMONT - A 29-year-old Blue Earth woman faces criminal vehicular operation charges after allegedly driving while intoxicated and causing a crash that severely injured a 35-year-old male passenger in April.
According to information from the Fairmont Police Department and the Martin County Sheriff's Office:
Around 1:30 a.m. April 21, police responded to a car crash on Albion Avenue. At the scene, police saw a crashed vehicle and a woman who was crying and upset because a passenger in the car was non-responsive. When asked if she was driving, she said she wasn't, but would only identify the driver as someone she didn't know.
The woman was identified as Amber Marie Greeley.
Police investigating determined the vehicle went around a curve, then went up on the curb and hit a tree, a decorative brick post, some shrubs and a utility box.
In further police questioning, Greeley denied driving, but later admitted she was the driver of the vehicle and that the man in her vehicle was passed out before the crash occurred. She said that both were wearing seat belts.
Police noted that Greeley smelled of alcohol and was unsteady. A preliminary breath test indicated her blood alcohol level was above the legal limit for driving, and she was placed under arrest for driving while impaired.
Greeley was transported to the hospital emergency room by squad car, while the man was airlifted to Rochester for his injuries.
On May 3, the man's mother reported to police that her son suffered a fractured vertebrae, a fractured rib, and a suspected traumatic brain injury. She also told police that Greeley admitted to her that she was driving with him, and she was driving faster than 40 mph when the crash occurred. Officials were able to confirm the man's injuries.
The blood test results from Greeley indicate her blood alcohol level was .14, nearly twice the legal limit for driving.
In a police interview on May 16, Greeley said she was dating the man who was with her in the crash and they had been out drinking together at a bar. She told police she couldn't remember any details before, during or after the crash, except the man being unconscious and then being in the back of the squad car. She said she didn't remember telling police she wasn't the driver, but she didn't doubt that she was the driver.
A background check showed that Greeley had an alcohol-related revocation of her license in October 2002.
Charges were made official against Greeley on Tuesday. According to Lt. Del Ellis of the Fairmont Police Department, the delay in charges was due to the lab analysis.
Greeley faces three counts of criminal vehicular operation, causing great bodily harm; each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. She also faces two charges of second-degree driving while impaired; maximum penalty is a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.