A Shakopee man has been charged with causing a two-car crash in West St. Paul last weekend that left two people injured, and police say he admitted being under the influence of methadone and several other drugs at the time.
Frankie Dylan Dircks, 21, is charged with two felony counts of criminal vehicular operation resulting in substantial bodily harm, each of which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He is also charged with two gross misdemeanor counts of criminal vehicular operation, each of which has a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, West St. Paul police were called to the scene of a two-car crash on Butler Avenue just after 4:45 p.m. Sept. 30.
Two cars – a Buick Park Avenue driven by Dircks, and a Honda Accord – struck each other head on, and both vehicles had extensive front-end damage, according to the complaint.
The driver of the Honda told police that she was eastbound on Butler Avenue when Dircks’ car, traveling west, abruptly pulled into her lane and struck her car head on. She said the crash happened so quickly that she didn’t have time to swerve to avoid Dircks.
The woman also told police that it appeared that Dircks was “high on something” at the time of the crash.
Dircks had two passengers in his car, a woman in the front passenger seat and a 4-year-old boy, who was buckled in the back seat but not in a child safety seat. The child was not injured, but the woman hit her head on the windshield and lost several teeth in the crash, according to the complaint.
The woman, whom police say was bleeding from the head and appeared to be in considerable pain, was taken to a hospital by ambulance.
Officers spoke to Dircks and noted that his eyelids were heavy and his pupils constricted. His speech was slurred and he was having difficulty standing still, and was unable to tell police what city he was in, according to the complaint.
Dircks was arrested for driving under the influence. During a search, police found prescriptions in his pants pocket for Xanax and Klonopin.
Dircks told officers that he is a former heroin addict and that he gets a dose of methadone every morning. He said he took methadone that day, along with his two prescription medications, and admitted that he had been told not to drive for at least three hours after taking methadone, according to the complaint.
A woman who lives nearby told police that she heard a crash and ran to the scene to see what had happened. She said she saw Dircks throw a “one-hitter” – a device used to smoke marijuana – out of the car window.
Officers found the small black pipe about 10 feet from the driver’s side door of Dircks’ car.
Another witness told police that she was driving behind Dircks and saw him swerve from side to side in his lane before he abruptly swerved into the opposite lane of traffic and hit the Honda.
Dircks remains in the Dakota County Jail on an $80,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled Oct. 23 in Dakota County District Court in Hastings.