Driver charged with killing Moose Lake man, fleeing scene of crash
NORTH BRANCH, Minn. — A Twin Cities-area driver accused of fatally running a Moose Lake man off Interstate 35 was found on the floor of a nearby rest stop and had to be shocked with a Taser after becoming combative with officers, according to charges filed Monday, Nov. 4.
Samuel Dakota Moreno, 23, was described as "very impaired," with an odor of alcohol and marijuana, authorities said in a criminal complaint. Officers tracked Moreno's damaged Toyota Tundra to the Goose Creek Rest Area after he allegedly rear-ended a Buick driven by 63-year-old Joffre Michael Kolosky, sending the victim's vehicle crashing into the ditch near North Branch on Friday afternoon.
Moreno, of Marine on St. Croix, Minn., was arraigned Monday in State District Court in Chisago County on four charges, including criminal vehicular homicide.
According to the complaint:
Kolosky's 2003 Buick Park Avenue was found flipped on its roof in the northbound ditch of I-35 at about 5:30 a.m. Firefighters extricated Kolosky from the car and paramedics began lifesaving measures, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Minnesota State Patrol troopers noted heavy tire skid marks in the right lane and separate tire tracks leading into the ditch, where the Buick came to a rest. A trail of antifreeze was observed leading away from the crash scene.
Heavy damage to the back of the Buick indicated it had been hit from behind at a high rate of speed in the right lane, pushing it into the ditch, while the other vehicle continued northbound.
Up the road, a Chisago County deputy found the 2001 Tundra parked at the rest stop with heavy front-end damage. Both airbags had deployed, it was leaking antifreeze and the front license plate was missing.
The deputy entered the rest stop, finding Moreno lying on the floor of the restroom with fresh blood on his face. It took several attempts to wake Moreno, who was described as having a "moderate odor of alcohol and a strong odor of burnt marijuana."
Moreno could not answer basic questions, "had bloodshot, watery eyes and appeared very unsteady when standing," officers said. While attempting to place him under arrest, he became combative and started yelling at officers, requiring the deputy to deploy his Taser multiple times.
In searching Moreno, officers found a bag of suspected marijuana, four marijuana pipes and a small baggie containing an unidentified substance. A search warrant was obtained to draw a sample of Moreno's blood; results were still pending at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Troopers said they recovered the front license plate from Moreno's truck in the grass near Kolosky's Buick. Conditions at the time of the crash were reported to be cloudy, with light snow flurries in the air, but dry roads.
Moreno is formally charged with two counts of felony vehicular homicide, gross misdemeanor driving while impaired and misdemeanor driving after revocation. Tenth Judicial District Judge Suzanne Bollman set bail at $150,000 with conditions or $300,000 without.
Moreno has multiple traffic offenses on his record and had his license revoked after pleading guilty to operating while impaired in Polk County, Wis., in July 2016.
Moreno also has been convicted in Minnesota of domestic abuse and of violating a restraining or no-contact order on at least six occasions since 2014, according to a search of court records.
He is scheduled to be back in court on Nov. 26.