Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Charges filed in vehicle accident that led to injury

Keith Vandervort
Posted 4/18/19

WINTON – An Ely man faces felony charges after allegedly crashing his vehicle in the parking lot of a Winton-area bar before abandoning three passengers, including one who was seriously injured. He …

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Charges filed in vehicle accident that led to injury

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WINTON – An Ely man faces felony charges after allegedly crashing his vehicle in the parking lot of a Winton-area bar before abandoning three passengers, including one who was seriously injured. He later walked to a nearby residence and stole another car, according to court documents filed by the St. Louis County Attorney’s office.

August Arthur Sandberg, 39, faces three felony counts following the April 3 incident near Samz Place on Old Winton Road.

According to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department, he was charged with criminal vehicular operation resulting in substantial bodily harm, first-degree burglary, and theft of a motor vehicle.

According to the criminal complaint, sheriff’s deputies responded to the parking lot of Samz Place Bar shortly after 2 a.m. on Wednesday, April 3 and found a 2010 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that had crashed. Three female passengers on the scene refused to identify the driver. Deputies used registration and insurance documents to determine the vehicle belonged to Sandberg.

A passenger in the pickup truck, identified as Patricia Lemke, was going in and out of consciousness when authorities responded to the scene according to a criminal complaint. Lemke was taken to Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital and later airlifted to a Duluth hospital. She has since been released.

Authorities saw footprints in the snow that led them to a residence on Cloquet Line Road. Authorities said Sandberg allegedly entered the residence, found keys and stole a 2014 Ford SRW, which authorities later found on the 400 block of East Sheridan Street in Ely.

Authorities then followed footprints to an apartment on the same block. Inside the entryway, a deputy found a pair of shoes with a tread pattern matching those observed outside the apartment, at the scene where the truck was stolen, and at the original crash site.

The deputy who made contact with Sandberg, reported the defendant to have slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and poor balance. As he was escorted from the apartment, the defendant attempted to put on the shoes found in the entryway.

Law enforcement officers obtained a search warrant to collect a blood sample from Sandberg, the results of which were not immediately available.

Sandberg was released from the St. Louis County Jail on bond after making his initial court appearance last week.

The charges carry maximum penalties of 25 years in prison and/or $45,000 in fines.

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