Manslaughter charged in fatal crash

A Milaca man allegedly high on meth at the time of a March 9 crash has been charged with manslaughter in connection to the death of an unborn child.

Travis J. Moshier, 36, 3845 100th Ave., Milaca, is facing seven felony criminal charges stemming from the crash on 250th Street west of Highway 169 near the Page-Dailey township line.

Moshier faces charges of second-degree manslaughter of an unborn child; criminal vehicular homicide, in operating a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance; three counts of criminal vehicular homicide or operation, in operating a vehicle under the influence of a schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance;  and three counts of criminal vehicular homicide, in operating a vehicle with negligence under the influence of a controlled substance.

On March 9, a Chevrolet Suburban driven by Moshier collided with a concrete guard rail. The back of the Suburban was filled with lumber.

Moshier was pinned between the drivers seat and steering column. Passenger Janell Taylor, age 24, was partially ejected through a windshield, and a 1-year-old child in a car seat was folded in the car seat due to the impact with the lumber. The child had a piece of wood sticking out of her head and was not breathing, according to a criminal complaint filed in Mille Lacs County District Court.

The three were transported to Fairview Northland Medical Center in Princeton. Mosier and Taylor were later transferred to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, while the child was transferred to University Children’s Hospital. All three survived, but Taylor’s unborn child, 24-27 weeks along, died, the criminal complaint states.

Taylor suffered fractured femurs in both legs and a head injury. The 1-year-old suffered multiple skull fractures, facial lacerations and fractured femurs in both legs. Moshier suffered multiple fractured ribs, a fractured right knee cap, a fractured ankle and a broken nose. He also suffered lacerations to his face and legs.

Paramedics told investigators that Taylor reported using meth about an hour before the crash, the complaint states. She was then interviewed at North Memorial by investigators. Taylor allegedly told the investigator that earlier on the day of the crash, she and Moshier loaded firewood into the Suburban. They then allegedly went to a residence in Pease where they obtained some meth. Moshier and Taylor then drove to a residence on 250th Street east of Highway 169 where they smoked the meth while the child sat outside in the Suburban eating snacks, the complaint states.

After smoking the meth, Moshier drove on 250th Street, across Highway 169 and into the concrete guard rail.

Taylor told the investigator that prior to the crash, she thought Moshier was driving 60 to 70 miles per hour on an icy road. She said she remembered sliding and said Moshier didn’t pump the breaks.

When Moshier was interviewed, he said he was driving 45 miles per hour at the time of the crash. He told investigators that he had stopped in Pease to put air in the Suburban’s tires. A few days earlier at the crash scene, Moshier had told responding law enforcement officials that he shouldn’t have put 70 pounds of air pressure in the tires. Moshier also admitted to smoking meth prior to the crash, the complaint states.

Lab tests conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension indicated that Moshier had both amphetamine and methamphetamine in his system the day of the crash, the complaint states.

Moshier is scheduled to appear in court at 9:30 a.m. on July 30. Each of the five criminal charges against Moshier carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. Two counts carry a maximum penalty of three years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.