Man charged with causing death of cycle passenger
A Beldenville man was charged Oct. 2 in Pierce County Circuit Court with vehicular homicide and reckless driving, causing bodily harm.
George D. Budd, 54, N7652 650th St., is scheduled to make his first court appearance 10:45 a.m., Oct. 23. Both charges, which stem from a March 17 incident in the town of Martell, are felonies.
According to the criminal complaint:
At about 8:10 p.m. March 17, Pierce County sheriff's deputies were called to a car versus motorcycle accident on 650th Street, north of County Road J.
When officers arrived, Budd identified himself as the driver of the car. He said he was southbound on 650th Street, approaching his driveway at N7652, when he noticed the headlight from an oncoming vehicle in the distance.
He said that as he started to make his turn, the motorcycle came over the hill at a high rate of speed and struck his car.
The report says Budd was asked three times if he had had anything to drink before he finally said yes after his preliminary breath test registered a .13.
He was given a series of field sobriety tests, including another PBT, which showed a .128.
After those tests, which he failed, he was taken to River Falls Area Hospital for a blood sample and then to Pierce County Jail. He was booked there on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Deputies again asked Budd for his version of what happened. He said the motorcycle came up over the hill at a high rate of speed and collided with the front passenger side of his truck.
He said he saw the motorcycle's driver, identified as Glen Nelson, 48, Hammond, hit the windshield of his truck, but didn't see his passenger, Julie Nelson, 47.
Budd was unsure of the motorcycle's speed but estimated it to be at least 65 mph. He said he was not injured.
Meanwhile, deputies found Glen, who was conscious, but severely injured. He kept asking what happened and about his wife. Deputies also found Julie, who was unresponsive.
Both Nelsons were transferred to Regions Hospital in St. Paul due to the severity of their injuries.
Julie was pronounced dead the next day while Glen was a patient in the hospital until July. Doctors have told him to expect a full recovery in time.
The complaint also states that upon collision Glen was thrown about seven feet over the top of Budd's truck hood. Julie was thrown about 60 feet.
In April, deputies got the results back from the state on Budd's blood draw, which showed a .11.
The vehicular homicide is a Class G felony, with a maximum penalty of $25,000 and 10 years in prison. The reckless driving is a Class I felony with the maximums being $10,000 and 42 months prison.