Man behind the wheel in fatal Orono drunken driving crash turns self in | KSTP.com

Man behind the wheel in fatal Orono drunken driving crash turns self in

Crosses are seen near the site of a crash in Orono that killed Mack Motzko and Samuel Schuneman. Photo: KSTP. Crosses are seen near the site of a crash in Orono that killed Mack Motzko and Samuel Schuneman.

Kyle Brown
Updated: July 28, 2021 10:30 PM
Created: July 28, 2021 04:41 PM

The man suspected of being behind the wheel during a drunken-driving crash that killed two young men last weekend in Orono has turned himself in, police confirmed Wednesday.

According to the Orono Police Department, 51-year-old James Blue turned himself in Wednesday afternoon and was booked into Hennepin County Jail on suspicion of criminal vehicular homicide Wednesday night. He was then released from custody pending formal charges.

A police report states officers responded to a single-vehicle crash around 11:23 p.m. Saturday on the 3100 block of North Shore Drive in Orono. A vehicle that was speeding had left the road and crashed into "several trees."

A 24-year-old man in the front passenger seat, later identified as Samuel Schuneman, was pronounced dead at the scene; 20-year-old Mack Motzko, the son of Gophers men's hockey coach Bob Motzko, was taken to the hospital, where he later died. The driver, Blue, had been ejected from the car and was also taken to the hospital with critical injuries.

According to a search warrant filed Monday in Hennepin County District Court, Blue had been drinking Saturday night at Maynards in Excelsior.

Witnesses to the crash told officers they estimated the car was going 100 mph in a 40 mph zone and left the road after coming up on a curve in the road, the search warrant states.

Attorneys for the Motzko and Schuneman families released the following statement on Wednesday:

"On behalf of the families, we recognize the media's interest in the tragic deaths and upcoming memorial services of Mack Motzko and Sam Schuneman. However, at this time we ask that the media fully respect the privacy of the families and those invited to attend the services as they gather to grieve in a private setting. We understand that there has been a development in the arrest of James Blue, which we believe is a positive step in obtaining justice for Mack and Sam. At this time we have no further comment but will consider media requests to speak with family members at an appropriate time after services are completed."


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