A 47-year-old St. Paul man was charged with eight felony counts of criminal vehicular operation stemming from a crash in Lake Elmo last summer that seriously injured two Stillwater sisters.
Jon Ross Wentz was charged by the Washington County Attorney’s Office with criminal vehicular operation causing great bodily harm involving negligence, blood alcohol and controlled substances in his system, among other counts.
The Aug. 28, 2012, head-on crash sent Marah Sobczak, 20, and Kalley Sobczak, 15, to the hospital with critical injuries.
“Driving under the influence of controlled substances and alcohol and causing death and injuries on our highways has become a scourge in our community,” Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said in a statement. “My office has long ago pledged to take the strongest possible stance in these types of cases to insure (sic) the victims receive their due justice.”
According to the criminal complaint filed and after months of crash reconstruction by the Minnesota State Patrol, investigators believe Wentz was traveling westbound on Highway 5 when he crossed over the center line into the eastbound lane, striking the Sobczak sisters' car.
According to the complaint, Wentz had methadone in his system, and a blood-alcohol content of .08.
As a result of the crash, the victims received severe injuries to their legs, spines, respiratory failure, traumatic brain injury, and an orbital bone fracture. They are still receiving extensive medical treatment one year later.
Since the crash, the Sobczak sisters have undergone six surgeries—two for Kalley and four for Marah.
It took emergency responders 50 minutes to extract the Marah, a two-time state hockey champion with Stillwater Area High School, out of the wreckage. Marah had expected to start her junior year at Gustavus Adolphus and resume her role as goalie.