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Contractor Charged With Vehicular Homicide
Two Dead After 1,100 lb. Boulder Falls From Work Truck


The work truck, seen in this photo, was captured by the surveillance video of a company about 5 minutes away from the scene. Police reported that this video was critical in finding the suspect.

On Friday, July 20, a landscape contractor in Rosemount, Minn., was charged with four counts of vehicular homicide after an unsecured boulder weighing over a ton allegedly fell from his truck and rolled onto an oncoming car.

67-year-old Jean Christiansen and her 32-year-old daughter, Jena Helene Christiansen, of Shoreview, Minn., were inside the car and were unfortunately killed by the boulder. The incident occurred on July 9.

Joseph P. Czeck, 33, of Hastings, Minn., has been charged with two felonies of vehicular homicide for causing the collision. Immediately after the incident, Czeck reportedly fled the scene, accruing two more felonies of gross negligence.

With a search warrant, police found the suspect two days later in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., a town located only about 12 miles away from Rosemount.

A criminal complaint that was filed recounts the accident. "After the car crossed some railroad tracks, an unsecured boulder flew out the back of the truck. The boulder bounced into the southbound lane, crossed the centerline and bounced into the northbound lane, where it crashed into the windshield of the car driven by Karen Christiansen. The truck did not stop at the scene."

Czeck's bail was set at $30,000 with conditions, or $70,000 without. If convicted, Czeck could face up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine for each charge. His next court date is Oct. 4.

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August 20, 2019, 8:43 pm PDT

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