Jury convicts driver in fatal 2019 Rosemount crash

A Roseville man was found guilty Wednesday of charges stemming from a crash that killed two people in 2019.

The Dakota County Attorney’s Office says 49-year-old Fred Tamu Fonji was convicted of two counts of criminal vehicular homicide and one count of careless driving in connection to the Oct. 17, 2019, crash that killed 48-year-old Colette Larae Craig and 47-year-old William Louis Craig of South St. Paul.

Jurors deliberated for around 13 hours before convicting Fonji, the attorney’s office says.

The crash happened on Highway 55 near Doyle Path in Rosemount.

RELATED: Roseville man charged in 2019 double-fatal Rosemount crash

Charging documents state that Fonji was driving a dump truck that was behind a semitruck. According to a witness, the semi was waiting to turn but the dump truck never braked and, instead, swerved and hit one vehicle, then another before stopping next to the semi. The witness said they had to veer into a ditch to avoid a head-on collision with the dump truck.

In the days after the crash, a landfill employee told a trooper that Fonji was always on his phone. Investigators analyzed his phones and saw that messages were received around the same time as the crash but software limitations prevented investigators from determining if the messages were opened or viewed.

Fonji is scheduled to be sentenced on May 19. Criminal vehicular homicide carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.