Coon Rapids man faces felony charges after woman killed in crash

A 52-year-old Coon Rapids man is facing felony charges for reportedly crossing the centerline of a highway while intoxicated and crashing into another vehicle, killing a 41-year-old woman and injuring a child.

Chad J. Seitz was charged Tuesday in Stearns County District Court with two felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide, two gross misdemeanor counts of criminal vehicular operation and one gross misdemeanor count of giving a false name to a peace officer.

According to court documents, a State Patrol trooper was dispatched to two-vehicle crash on Hwy. 55 west of Belgrade just before 7 a.m. Monday and found a GMC SUV in the south ditch and a Honda subcompact car in the north ditch.

The driver of the Honda, Cassie E. Mithaugen, was found partially ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. A medical examination later indicated her cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries, documents state.

A 3-year-old girl in the car with Mithaugen was hospitalized with for a cut and some bruising; the woman's family told officials she was driving the child to day care at the time of the crash.

At the scene, Seitz identified himself as a 39-year-old man with the initials K.R.K. and later told the trooper he provided a false name because he had a warrant out of Stearns County for violating the conditions of release on an ongoing case involving methamphetamine possession, documents state.

The trooper observed Seitz showing signs of impairment so the officer conducted a field sobriety test and obtained a search warrant for a blood test, the results of which are still pending. Documents state a preliminary breath test indicated Seitz was not under the influence of alcohol.

Seitz told officers he might have dozed off while driving from Starbuck to the Twin Cities on the two-lane highway; he also told officers he used cannabis the previous Friday and smokes meth weekly, documents state.

Seitz was slightly hurt in the crash. He has multiple previous convictions for theft, drug possession and driving after revocation.

At his first court appearance Wednesday, Judge Sarah Hennesy set bail at $800,000 with no conditions and $400,000 with conditions he not use alcohol or drugs and submit to random testing. His next court date is Feb. 2.