Woman charged in fatal crash

Maria Sutton, 32, Minot, was charged Monday with negligent homicide, a Class C felony, in the death of Robert Morrison, 49, Westhope. A warrant has been issued for her arrest.

The death stems from a traffic accident shortly after 1 a.m. on June 23.

An affidavit attached to the complaint signed by Nikos Berkowitz, assistant state’s attorney for Ward County, backs up initial reports and speculation on the matter.

According to the report, when police arrived on the scene of the accident all three people involved had been cleared from the scene and transported to Trinity Hospital in Minot. Upon inspection, “it was clear from the crash scene” that Sutton’s 2009 Chevy Impala had been traveling southbound in a northbound lane, striking Morrison’s 2002 Dodge Intrepid.

According to the affidavit, when police made contact with Sutton she said she had made a U-turn on North Broadway after missing her turn onto 36th Avenue Northwest “because it was raining heavily making it hard to see.”

She had been traveling home from the Starlite bar in north Minot with her friend, Steven Mark Meshak. Meshak corroborated Sutton’s story to police.

Although she had been at a bar and had been drinking, she tested only .067 percent blood alcohol content, or about .013 under the legal limit of .08.

No further information was available Thursday and no further court dates or actions have been scheduled.