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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - A Rochester woman who was drunk when she crashed into a bulldozer and had to be cut from her car has been given a stayed prison sentence.

But she will serve some time behind bars and also faces annual periods of home detention for several years.

The crash happened in 2020 in a construction zone near the Federal Medical Center when 34-year-old Maggie Mae Thornton drove around barricades and “collided with the front end of a bulldozer.“ Although police were unsure what Thornton’s speed was at the time of the crash, an officer later noted, “that the bulldozer appeared to have been pushed back by the collision.”

Thornton had to be extricated from the vehicle and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. A blood sample that was taken more than 2 hours after the crash showed she had a blood/alcohol concentration of .10.

Records show she had three earlier DWI convictions (2010, two in 2011).

Thornton has been sentenced to 42 months in prison but she won’t have to serve it if she follows the terms of her probation which will run 7 years. She has also been ordered to serve a 30-day jail sentence this year. She has also been ordered to serve 30 days of home detention each year for 6 years, starting in 2023.

Here is the criminal complaint in the case:

On April 4, 2020 at approximately 8:04 PM, Rochester Police Officer Alex Kendrick was dispatched to a car accident at the intersection of College View Road E and Silver Creek Road NE in the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, Minnesota. Officer Kendrick arrived on the scene and observed a white Nissan Maxima bearing MN license plate DXB512 with severe front-end damage located just west of the intersection. Officer Kendrick observed that the vehicle had collided with the front end of a bulldozer, which was parked on the north side of the street.

Officer Kendrick observed that the bulldozer appeared to have been pushed back by the collision, but only had minor damage to the exterior. Officer Kendrick observed signage indicating that the road was closed, as well as multiple barricades blocking access to the street where the accident occurred.

Officer Kendrick then made contact with the sole occupant of the Nissan, later identified to be Maggie May Thornton (DOB: 10/06/1987), “Defendant” herein. Defendant advised Officer Kendrick that her right leg was trapped inside the vehicle and that she was in pain. Officer Kendrick observed that Defendant was pinned between the steering column and the driver seat of the vehicle and waited with her until she could be extricated by the Rochester Fire Department. While speaking with Defendant, Officer Kendrick observed that her speech was slurred and that she smelled of alcohol. Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service arrived on the scene and transported Defendant to St. Mary’s Hospital. Due to Defendant’s need for medical attention, Officer Kendrick did not administer field sobriety testing while on the scene.

Officer Kendrick then spoke to an individual on the scene, Witness #1, who stated that she was Defendant’s friend. Witness #1 stated that Defendant called her saying that she had been in an accident and needed help. Witness #1 stated that she knew Defendant had been drinking and could smell alcohol coming from her while waiting for law enforcement to arrive. Based on his prior observations and the statement from Witness #1, Officer Kendrick believed Defendant to have been driving while under the influence of alcohol. Officer Kendrick drafted a search warrant to obtain a blood sample from Defendant, which was then signed by the Honorable Judge Wallace. Officer Kendrick then went to St. Mary’s Hospital and Officer Perry, a trained phlebotomist, assisted with the blood draw.

Officer Kendrick advised Defendant of the search warrant, which Defendant understood and apologized for all the trouble. Defendant stated that she had just gone to the gas station to pick up some items prior to the accident. Defendant stated that she had one mixed drink of Crown Royal whiskey a few hours before leaving, and that she was upset because she had just broken up with her boyfriend. Defendant stated that she did not know the road was closed, but possibly remembered seeing a “road closed” sign. Officer Perry administered the blood draw using two glass vials at 10:53 PM, which were subsequently taken into evidence and submitted to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) for analysis. Hospital staff advised Officer Kendrick that Defendant sustained injures that required her to be hospitalized for multiple days. Due to this information, Officer Kendrick did not place Defendant under arrest.

On May 11, 2020, Officer Kendrick received the results of Defendant’s blood sample analysis from the BCA. The report indicated that Defendant’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.100 at the time the sample was taken.
Defendant has three prior convictions for DWI within the past 10 years:
* 55-CR-10-6732 (disposition: 12/27/2010)
* 55-CR-11-2580 (disposition: 05/06/2011)
* 55-CR-11-5756 (disposition: 10/11/2011)

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