Erratic driver arrested on Highway 169

A 19-year-old male is facing criminal charges after crashing a vehicle on Highway 169 north of Princeton.

The incident began at about 7:30 a.m. Friday, May 4 on Highway 95 in Benton County, when the State Patrol’s St. Cloud office received numerous reports of a vehicle being driven erratically and nearly striking oncoming vehicles about eight miles west of Princeton.

Geron Braun, age 19, was allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road, said Capt. Curt Mowers of the Minnesota State Patrol’s Brainerd Office, which has jurisdiction over Mille Lacs County, but not Benton and Sherburne.

At some point, Braun ended up north of Princeton and was reported to be driving south towards Princeton on Highway 169, Mowers said.

Two Princeton police officers waited for the vehicle at Highway 169 and North Rum River Drive. Another officer was positioned on Highway 169 near the North Ambulance garage. State troopers and Mille Lacs County deputies were also on assignment.

The suspect vehicle went by the officer parked in the median near the ambulance garage at a high rate of speed, police reports state. The vehicle then struck a mailbox at North Ambulance, as well as a residential mailbox, mowers said. After striking the mailboxes, the vehicle went into a ditch and crashed just south of a storage unit complex located on Highway 169 just south of the North Ambulance building.

Braun was injured as a result of the crash and transported by ambulance to Fairview Northland Medical Center.

Alcohol appears to have played a role in the incident, Mowers said.