Man accused in fatal Fargo drunken driving crash claimed friend was driving, court docs say
Elijah Viestenz faces charges of criminal vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, minor in consumption and minor in a liquor establishment.
FARGO — A Barrett, Minn., man accused of killing his friend in a drunken driving crash two weeks ago in Fargo allegedly told police his friend was the driver, according to court documents made public this week.
Elijah Jace Viestenz, 19, appeared Thursday, Feb. 25, on charges connected to the Feb. 13 crash that killed 21-year-old Isaiah James Johnson of Fargo.
Police said they found Johnson on the ground near the crash around 1 a.m. Feb. 13 at Great Northern Drive and 18th Street North. Alcohol was also found at the scene, according to an incident report that said the vehicle was driving at high speed when it hit a pole.
Viestenz was not at the scene, but the incident report alleged he called 911 to report that Johnson was driving.
Johnson died hours later at Sanford Medical Center, court documents said.
Police found a record of several traffic stops connected to the vehicle, with Viestenz being the driver in all of those incidents, the report said. After learning that Viestenz, who had severe injuries, was taken to the hospital by his mother, police interviewed Viestenz, according to the report.
He allegedly acknowledged he was drinking alcohol at a bar, though it is unclear from court documents if the bar served him alcohol or if he got it from someone else. When asked if he was driving the vehicle, he answered, “I think so,” the incident report said.
Viestenz faces charges of criminal vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, minor in consumption and minor in a liquor establishment.