Wright County Judge Stephen Halsey last week set the date for the trial for Albertville’s Linda Louis Gullickson, the driver accused of hitting and killing 19-year-old Phillip LaVallee while he was on an afternoon jog in August 2013.
Gullickson is charged with criminal vehicular homicide while operating a motor vehicle in a grossly negligent manner. The jury trial on those charges will start April 27, 2015.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and/or a $20,000 fine.
According to court documents, investigations by the Wright County Sheriff’s Office conclude that at around 12:09 p.m., Wright County Communications officers were alerted to a vehicle vs. pedestrian accident on Wright County Highway 19 north of the Albertville Premium Outlets, in Otsego.
The investigation showed a van, driven by Gullickson, now 68, was headed in the northbound lane but crossed over the road, into the southbound lane and onto the southbound shoulder, eventually off the road and into the ditch on the west side of the highway, where Gullickson and the vehicle rolled several times.
LaVallee, who was running on the southbound shoulder, headed northbound, against traffic, was struck and killed. Gullickson, who was hurt in the rollover, was transported and treated at a local hospital.
Investigations showed crash data recovered from the van showed the vehicle was traveling at around 63.5 mph (in a 55 mph zone) and did not change speeds for five seconds prior to the crash. Officers indicated this was likely due to the use of the vehicle’s cruise control.
The data recorder also showed Gullickson did not apply the brakes after crossing over the center line, nor were any recordings of “avoidance maneuvers” shown.
Detectives, the complaint continues, also obtained cellular phone records from Gullickson’s device, and she did receive a call around the same time as the accident. Officers and investigators concluded that call was not answered, rather it went to voicemail.
Assistant Wright County Attorney Brian Lutes has signed the complaint on behalf of the Wright County Attorney’s Office, alleging Gullickson’s inattentiveness caused the accident.
Investigators also ruled out medical conditions as any cause to the crash.