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Records: Alcohol, speeding caused fatal Fargo crash

Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 3:26 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Unsealed court documents are shedding new light on a catastrophic crash that killed a 21-year-old Fargo man.

19-year-old Elijah Viestenz is charged with criminal vehicular homicide, failure to report a death, minor in consumption and minor in a liquor establishment. Police say 21-year-old Isaiah Johnson was in the car with Viestenz at the time of the single-car crash, was thrown from the passenger seat and died from his injuries.

Court documents say just before 1 a.m. on Feb. 13, Fargo Police were called to 18 St. N and Great Northern Dr. for a severe car versus pole crash. One of the callers was Viestenz who documents say told dispatchers ‘his buddy’ had been driving, they crashed and he was thrown from the vehicle.

When officers arrived, documents say Johnson’s injuries were catastrophic, and Viestenz was nowhere to be seen.

Documents say alcohol was found at the scene. Preliminary investigations show the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash.

When officers researched the vehicle involved, documents say they found several traffic stops dating back to 2018. Viestenz had been the driver in all of the instances.

Officers located Viestenz at his mother’s home in West Fargo. Documents say Viestenz’s mother picked him up from the scene of the crash. Viestenz had serious injuries and was soon transported to the hospital.

When officers spoke to Viestenz, he admitted to drinking before the crash and said he believed he was driving at the time of the crash. Documents state Viestenz was drinking at Cactus Jack’s Saloon from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. that night.

A warrant was obtained for Viestenz blood alcohol levels. At this time, it’s unclear what Viestenz levels were.

Viestenz is not booked in the Cass County Jail and a mugshot is not available. Viestenz will be in court again on March 25.

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