A St. James man faces criminal charges for a fatal crash that killed a Redwood Falls man. Tashawn Ray Parker, 19, was charged last week in Sibley County Court with felony criminal vehicular homicide for the September crash that killed 69-year-old Merle Rueben Berreth.
Berreth was eastbound on Highway 19 east of Gaylord when his vehicle was hit at the intersection of County Rd 9 by Parker’s pickup, which was pulling a single-axle utility trailer.
A criminal complaint says Parker failed to stop at the intersection’s stop sign, the trailer from his F-150 detaching and careening into the ditch. Two pieces of machinery were ejected from the trailer, one striking Berreth’s pickup and killing him.
Parker told crash investigators that he was unfamiliar with the area and looked over at his mounted tablet for GPS information when he realized he was in the intersection.
Crash reconstruction revealed that there are two sets of rumble strips and a “stop ahead” sign leading to the stop sign at the intersection. Investigators determined that Parker was driving between 58 and 64 miles per hour and the equipment on his trailer was not properly secured.