Man sentenced to workhouse, probation for crash that killed 75-year-old woman in Plymouth

A man with multiple speeding convictions who pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide avoided prison for the death of a 75-year-old woman last year.

Christopher Lee Keyes, 45, of Corcoran, was sentenced to one year at the Hennepin County Workhouse and a stayed sentence of four years of prison, which he will serve if he violates the terms of his five-year probation.

The crash happened in May 2022 and killed 75-year-old Sandra Jane Wetterlind of Ramsey.

Court records show Keyes had a revoked license at the time for seven speeding convictions since November 2019, the latest of which came on June 3, less than a month after the crash that resulted in Wetterlind’s death.

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Court records show the crash happened at the intersection of 38th Avenue and County Road 101.

The criminal complaint states that Keyes, driving a Lexus sedan, struck a Hyundai on the passenger side that was being driven by Wetterlind. The Hyundai was pressed against a townhome and Keyes told responding officers that the Hyundai “turned in front of him” at the intersection.

Both Keyes and Wetterlind were taken to the hospital but Wetterlind died from her injuries.

Police say that Keyes did not appear to be intoxicated.

Three witnesses who were in different vehicles spoke to police and reported that the Lexus had passed them on County Road 101 just south of the crash site.

The witnesses said the Lexus was speeding and weaving between their vehicles, nearly hitting two of them. All three added that the Lexus sped off when the light at County Road 24 turned green and believed the car was going at least 100 mph.

A Minnesota State Patrol crash investigator calculated that the Lexus collided with the Hyundai at between 68 and 77 mph and the Hyundai was traveling roughly 17 mph. However, the complaint states there was evidence the driver of the Lexus had applied the brakes before the crash, leading the investigator to believe the car was at one point speeding between 87 and 97 mph.

An airbag control module recovered from the Lexus via search warrant revealed the car was going almost 96 mph less than five seconds before impact, the complaint states. The speed limit on that stretch of road is 45 mph.

Keyes’ vehicle was roughly two football fields away at the time Wetterlind likely decided to turn, the complaint states, leading the crash investigator to reason that she “perceived the Lexus at a distance that would normally be safe to turn left.”

The State Patrol investigation concluded Keyes’ excessive speed was the main contributor to the crash.