Charges dropped in fatal West Fargo motorcycle crash

Prosecutors say the case against Taquoya Saldana is still under investigation, meaning charges could be refiled.

Taquoya Saldana.
Cass County Jail photo

FARGO — Prosecutors have dropped charges connected to a fatal motorcycle crash in West Fargo, but the woman accused of drinking and driving before crashing her SUV into the bike could still face prosecution.

Misdemeanor counts of DUI and driving with a suspended license against 28-year-old Taquoya Nike Saldana of West Fargo were dismissed April 19, according to court records. The order said the case was dropped without prejudice, meaning prosecutors could still seek charges against Saldana.

A motion to dismiss the charges said an "in-depth investigation ... likely will lead to enhanced charges." Prosecutors said in the motion that North Dakota state troopers should complete the investigation before Saldana "addresses the allegations."

“The case is under investigation,” prosecutor Paul Emerson said Thursday, May 18. “Once that is completed, this office will review and appropriate charges will be filed.”

Saldana was charged a day after the April 12 crash in West Fargo.


Thomas Fradet, 31, of Fargo, was driving a 2020 Springfield Indian motorcycle west on Main Avenue when he turned left onto 17th Street East, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol. Saldana, who was eastbound on Main in a 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander, collided with Fradet at a high rate of speed, troopers said.

Fradet died at a hospital. Saldana and her passenger were not injured, authorities said.

Saldana faces a reckless driving charge for an unrelated March 18 incident. That case was also filed April 13.

In that case, court documents alleged Saldana almost hit a pedestrian with her vehicle in the SouthTown Pourhouse parking lot at 4281 45th St. S. in Fargo. Another person pushed the pedestrian out of the way of the vehicle, court documents said.

Saldana was driving about 20 mph in the parking lot and missed the two people by a couple of inches, the criminal complaint said. Saldana left the parking lot, the complaint said.

She has pleaded not guilty to that charge.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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