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Driver in fatal north Fargo crash pleads not guilty to manslaughter

FARGO - A 26-year-old Moorhead woman is facing four felony charges, including manslaughter, stemming from a fatal car crash last summer.Chelsey Rose LaCroix pleaded not guilty Thursday, April 12, in Cass County District Court to felony counts of ...

Chelsey Rose LaCroix
Chelsey Rose LaCroix

FARGO - A 26-year-old Moorhead woman is facing four felony charges, including manslaughter, stemming from a fatal car crash last summer.

Chelsey Rose LaCroix pleaded not guilty Thursday, April 12, in Cass County District Court to felony counts of manslaughter, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and possession of stolen property, and to a misdemeanor count of aggravated reckless driving.

According to court documents:

On July 29, LaCroix was driving a stolen Chevy Cruze in north Fargo at "an extremely high rate of speed after consuming alcohol and/or controlled substances, which caused the death of a passenger" and life-threatening injuries to another passenger.

About 3 p.m., while on County Road 31, the car drifted off the road into the right ditch before hitting a culvert. The car vaulted over 64th Avenue before hitting a sign then rolling and striking a tree.

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A man who saw the crash told officers the car was going "too fast." One passenger, 32-year-old Denise Morin, landed in a tree, wedged between branches. Emergency workers removed her and LaCroix, who had to be extricated from the vehicle.

Another passenger, 28-year-old Erica Peterson, was ejected and pinned under the car. Peterson died at the scene.

Officers spoke with LaCroix in the hospital and noticed "an odor of alcoholic beverage coming from her." LaCroix told officers she had "only a sip" and that the crash was "a blur," according to court documents.

LaCroix's next court hearing is a felony dispositional conference scheduled for June 14.

Related Topics: CASS COUNTYMOORHEADCRASHES
Kim Hyatt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead covering community issues and other topics. She previously worked for the Owatonna People's Press where she received the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award in 2016. Later that year, she joined The Forum as a night reporter and is now part of the investigative team. She's a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth.
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