WORTHINGTON — Steven Spaans, 36, of Rock Valley, Iowa, could serve up to five years in prison for a criminal charge filed against him following a Wednesday night traffic accident in which Spaans's semi crashed into another.
Spaans was charged with both DWI and criminal vehicular operation after he allegedly failed field sobriety tests. The criminal complaint says Spaans lost his balance before the state patrol officer could finish demonstrating the Walk and Turn test. While taking the test, he reportedly stepped off the line several times, steadied himself with his arms, stopped while walking and turned improperly.
He declined to take the One Leg Stand test, stating that he had a swollen ankle. When Spaans consented to a Preliminary Breath Test, he was shown to have 0.299% breath alcohol content. Beyond the DWI threshold of 0.08%, Minnesota law lowers the legal limit to 0.04% BAC for anyone driving a vehicle (such as a semi) that requires a commercial driver's license — meaning that Spaans's BAC was more than seven times the legal limit.
Law enforcement at the scene found multiple containers of alcohol inside the cab of the truck Spaans was driving.
The driver behind Spaans, who witnessed the crash, reported that Spaans had been swerving all over the road for the last four miles.
The other driver involved in the crash, Dylan Fullerton, 25, of Sanborn, sustained injuries that included a large cut above his left eye and the fracture of his left eye socket and nasal cavity. Fullerton reported that when Spaans pulled out in front of him, he slammed on the brakes (which skid marks on the roadway corroborate) but was unable to stop in time.
About 30 firefighters — plus medical personnel, law enforcement and local volunteers — worked for more than five hours Wednesday night to clear the roadway of debris, extract the cattle from both men's trucks and dispose of the dozen that died or required euthanizing.
In addition to five years in prison, Spaans could face a fine of up to $10,000. He was released on bail Friday after having an electronic alcohol monitoring system set up on his person.