Ponsford man charged in Becker County hit-and-run crash


DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – Bail has been set at $100,000 for a Ponsford man jailed in connection with a hit-and-run crash that left a Detroit Lakes man with serious injuries, according to Becker County officials and court documents filed Friday, July 21.

Randy Kettle, 35, faces a felony charge of criminal vehicular operation, including great bodily harm and leaving the scene of a collision, which occurred Tuesday, July 18, court documents said. He also faces a felony charge of domestic assault in the case.

According to court documents:

Becker County dispatchers received a call at 9:37 p.m. Tuesday of a vehicle that struck a pedestrian on Pine Point Road. Witnesses reported seeing a tan Buick leave the area with front-end damage.

When officers arrived, they found a man being treated for a severe head injury. He had been riding a bicycle, which was lying next to him. Officers determined the bike was traveling north on the west side of the road when a vehicle crossed into the northbound lane and struck the bike from behind.

The victim, identified as 44-year-old Jerod Moran, was flown to a Fargo hospital, with multiple broken bones, a collapsed lung and a severe head laceration. He remained in critical care as of Friday, according to court documents.

Kettle’s girlfriend told officers that she, Kettle and her son had borrowed the car and gone to Bemidji, with Kettle driving. On the way back, she and Kettle were drinking alcohol, and Kettle hit the bicyclist.

She said Kettle got out of the vehicle to talk to the person who had been struck and then got back in the car and left.

Kettle’s girlfriend told police that Kettle came to her home the next morning and hit her in the eye, smashed her cellphone and left.

Kettle denied being involved in the crash when interviewed by police.

Court documents note that he has prior domestic violence-related convictions, including terroristic threats and third-degree assault.

Kettle was issued a criminal domestic abuse no-contact order on Friday. His next court appearance is set for 1:30 p.m. July 31 in Becker County District Court in Detroit Lakes.