Undated, (KROC-AM News)- The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office responded to a pair of injury crashes involving drivers suspected of being impaired over the weekend. 

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The first crash occurred around 12:45 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Hwy. 63 and 20th St. in Stewartville. Sheriff’s Captain James Schueller said a vehicle stopped at a red light in the southbound lane of 63 was struck from behind by a Ram pick-up. 

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The pick-up driver, identified as 61-year-old James Fritz of Brooklyn Park, told deputies he had been drinking. Schueller said responding deputies saw an empty 200 ml vodka flask in the vehicle and said Fritz was showing signs of impairment. 

Hwy. 63 south at 20th St. in Stewartville Google.
Hwy. 63 south at 20th St. in Stewartville Google.
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Fritz told deputies he was heading from the Twin Cities to Farmington, Missouri and is facing potential charges of criminal vehicular operation and DWI. The crash victim was described as a 19-year-old Stewartville resident. They suffered what appear to be minor injuries, however their medical condition is unknown. 

The second suspected alcohol-involved crash happened around 9:50 p.m. Sunday in Rochester. Schueller said an Olmsted County Sheriff’s Deputy saw a vehicle weaving in the traffic lane in the 100 block of 12th St. Southwest. 

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Upon stopping the vehicle, the deputy saw the driver shift into the backseat and was seen holding a young child when the deputy arrived at the vehicle. The deputy also saw a young girl in a car seat that had tipped against the rear passenger window and smelled the odor of alcohol inside of the vehicle, Schueller said. 

Olmsted County Sheriff's Office photo
Olmsted County Sheriff's Office photo
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The suspect, identified as 32-year-old Corwinn Thurman of Rochester, initially gave authorities a false name and was described as being belligerent and uncooperative. An adult female in the passenger seat claimed she was driving the vehicle despite the deputy reportedly seeing Thurman move from the driver’s seat to the backseat, according to Schueller. 

Investigators found Thurman has a revoked driver’s license and has two prior DUI convictions that occurred in 2015 and 2016. Schueller said Thuraman refused field sobriety testing at the scene and was brought to the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center once he was cleared of injuries stemming from the crash at St. Mary’s Hospital. 

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Thurman could face charges of criminal vehicular operation, driving after revocation, giving false information to a police officer, child neglect/endangerment and various traffic violations. Schueller said there was a one-year-old and two-year-old in the backseat of the vehicle at the time of the crash. 

Schueller also said that Thurman struck the rear of a vehicle that was in front of him while he pulled over for the deputy. An ambulance responded to evaluate the driver of the front car, who is described as a 22-year-old Rochester woman. Her condition is unknown.

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