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Driver in crash that killed Worthington teen charged with multiple felonies

The July 6 two-vehicle collision resulted in one death and injuries for seven individuals, including driver Sylias Kamm.

(Kamm, Sylias Andrew - #202200531).jpg
Kamm
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WORTHINGTON — Charges were filed recently against one of the drivers involved in the two-vehicle crash that killed 19-year-old Worthington resident Erick Fuentes , and injured several others in early July.

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Sylias Kamm, 19, of Wilmont, is charged with felony-level manslaughter in the second degree for culpable negligence that resulted in death. Kamm also faces one count of criminal vehicular homicide and two counts of criminal vehicular operation that resulted in great bodily harm, all felonies.

The July 6 crash, which happened near St. Kilian, involved a green Chevy pickup registered to Kamm and a white 2005 Chevy Silverado which was pulling a flatbed trailer hauling construction equipment.

According to the criminal complaint, there was severe front-end damage to the green Chevy when officers arrived on the scene. The white Chevy pickup had severe damage and was resting partially upside down in a ditch near Nobles County 15 and Nobles County 18.

Two juveniles were reportedly in the vehicle with Kamm at the time of the crash, one of whom had already been transported to the hospital, having been found unresponsive. Kamm was also transported to the hospital for medical treatment.

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There were five adult males in the white 2005 Chevrolet pickup, four of whom were receiving medical care when officers arrived. They were later transported to local hospitals for further treatment.

The fifth passenger, Fuentes, died on the scene due to injuries. It was noted in the report that an autopsy confirmed the cause of death as multiple blunt force injuries sustained from the collision.

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An officer at the scene spoke with a passenger from the white Chevy. He stated that he had been on his cell phone when he heard two other occupants of the vehicle yell. The passenger looked up in time to see the green pick-up, and after the crash, the white Chevy ended up in the ditch.

The passenger said he tried to help the other men get out of the vehicle, along with the occupants of the green pick-up — including one person who was partially ejected.

At the Worthington ER, officers also spoke with Erick Fuentes’ father, who was in the front passenger seat at the time of the crash. He said he'd seen a pick-up traveling fast along the highway, and knew it wasn’t going to stop at the stop sign ahead. He reportedly said he did not see the green pick-up's brake lights activate. The driver of the white Chevy attempted to swerve into the ditch.

Fuentes’ father said he tried to help his son after the crash and was informed that he’d died on the scene.

Family members of the juvenile passengers in the green pick-up stated they had spoken with Kamm before about his reckless driving, having observed that sort of behavior via an app on the juvenile's phone.

The mother of the passengers said the app showed Kamm driving approximately 81 miles per hour just before the crash.

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Kamm was interviewed by a Nobles County investigator several days later, during which time he stated he could not remember anything from before the crash except that he picked up passengers. He said he did not recall how fast he was driving, and that he slowed down for a stop sign before the crash site but was not sure if he stopped completely. Kamm also stated he was aware the stop sign was there.

The male juvenile occupant in the green pick-up spoke with officers once he was able to, and stated that Kamm had blown through several intersections while driving that day. During a later interview, the occupant stated Kamm was driving erratically at speeds between 65 and 80 mph. He stated that Kamm appeared angry before the crash and told officers: “I don’t think he even cared in that moment. I don’t think he cared that he could hurt other people.”

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According to the occupant’s statements, Kamm reportedly sped up as they approached the intersection.

Kamm was arrested at his parent’s home in Worthington on Aug. 4 and was transported to the Nobles County Jail. During an interview with officers, Kamm attested to being the driver of the green pick-up truck and that he had gone through the intersection without stopping, at approximately 65 mph.

According to the report, Kamm maintained that he did not see the other vehicle and that the other driver was “probably going fast too.” He admitted he had been “very reckless” while driving that day.

Six individuals were injured in the crash, including the juvenile female occupant of the green pick-up, who received life-threatening injuries. She remained in a coma for several weeks following the crash, and though now conscious, remains hospitalized, according to the complaint.

Kamm faces a maximum penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment, a $20,000 fine, or both for the manslaughter and vehicular homicide charges. Both criminal vehicular operation charges carry a maximum sentence of up to five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both.

Kamm is set to make his initial court appearance on Aug. 18. Bail, with conditions, was set at $250,000, and an intent to seek aggravated sentencing has been filed.

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Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
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