Maplewood man sentenced to 90 days for drunken driving crash that killed 1, injured 1

A Maplewood man avoided a long prison sentence after pleading guilty in connection with a drunken-driving crash that killed a man and injured a woman in 2021.

Chue Asham Yang, 59, was sentenced Thursday to 90 days in jail, although he’ll be able to serve that under electronic home monitoring or a work release program.

The judge also stayed a four-year prison sentence, which Yang will be able to avoid as long as he complies with the terms of his probation for the next three years. Those terms include not using any chemicals or alcohol and attending several programs to treat chemical dependency.

Yang was initially charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide but he pleaded guilty to one count in July in exchange for the dismissal of the other count, court records show.

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On Dec. 10, 2021, at 11:53 p.m. officers from the Maplewood Police Department were called to the scene of a crash on Highway 61 near County Road B.

A criminal complaint states that officers found a Toyota Corolla facing north in the southbound lanes of the highway and a Ford F-150 in the ditch along the side of the highway.

Two good Samaritans were performing CPR on 52-year-old Tou Moua, who was in the back seat of the Corolla when it crashed. Moua had no pulse and was declared dead at the scene a short time later.

The Corolla’s driver — later identified as Yang — was found unconscious and still belted into the driver’s seat, the complaint states.

A woman who was in the passenger seat suffered head trauma but was able to tell law enforcement officials that the man in the backseat was her brother. She added that the three of them were on their way home from a funeral where they had been drinking.

The complaint goes on the say that a trooper noticed the scent of alcohol coming from Yang while he lay unconscious in a hospital bed. Court records show that a search warrant confirmed that Yang’s blood alcohol concentration two hours after the crash was 0.146.

The driver of the Ford, who was minorly injured, told law enforcement that he was driving south on Highway 61 when he saw the Corolla without its lights on driving up to 70 mph and swerving all over the road.

The Ford driver said the Corolla jumped a median, went airborne and hit his truck, according to the complaint.

Yang was convicted of a gross misdemeanor driving while intoxicated (DWI) in 2008, 2011 and 2019.