Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Elkton man found guilty in crash that killed 2

Jason Fredrickson

AUSTIN – It took a jury just five hours Wednesday to find Jason David Fredrickson, 45, guilty of four counts of criminal vehicular homicide.

Fredrickson, of Elkton, had been charged in March with two counts each of criminal vehicular homicide-alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours of driving; criminal vehicular homicide-operate vehicle with negligence under the influence of alcohol; and criminal vehicular homicide-operate motor vehicle in grossly negligent manner.

He was acquitted of the last two counts; the verdict was returned about 9:20 p.m., after five days of testimony.

The charges stem from a car crash south of Austin on Feb. 25, 2012, that killed Luke David Unverzagt and Jacob Steven Moe, both 32 and both from Austin.

Fredrickson was accused of being the driver of the vehicle when it left a Mower County road at speeds in excess of 120 mph, then struck two utility poles and a tree. He's said he has no memory of the accident.


Though appreciative of the jury's "hard work," Mower County Attorney Kristen Nelsen said there was no winner. "In the end, there's still two families without their loved ones," she said. "Jacob and Luke are gone, and this doesn't bring them back."

Mary Kay Moe, Jacob Moe's mother, wiped away tears as the families gathered outside the courtroom after the verdict.

"Now everybody knows what we've known for two years," she said.

Fredrickson will remain free on his own recognizance until sentencing, said District Court Judge Donald Rysavy. Sentencing has been set for March 13.

The defense's accident reconstruction expert spent several hours on the stand Wednesday, much of it defending his conclusions.

Daniel Lofgren, a former Minnesota State Patrol trooper, agreed that the car was traveling 129 mph four seconds before the crash and had four significant points of impact after leaving the road, but disputed the prosecution's expert, who determined Fredrickson was the driver.

"It was a complicated vehicle movement," he said. "There are so many unknowns, I wouldn't be able to determine with any degree of certainty" where any of the men were seated or when they were ejected.

Despite using the accident records and mapping information provided by the prosecution's accident reconstruction expert, Lofgren came up with contradictory findings — including the direction the car was rotating during the approximately 3-second crash.


Assistant Mower County Attorney Jeremy Clinefelter questioned the findings: "So the car traveled up the tree in some sort of backward, upside-down fashion, according to you," he said.

"I can’t be sure," Lofgren said.

"Well, you’re the expert," Clinefelter said. "Don’t you think that’s a problem for your conclusion if you can’t tell us how it happened?"

In the end, Lofgren agreed that nothing about his accident reconstruction eliminated Fredrickson as the driver.

In the end, Lofgren agreed that nothing about his accident reconstruction eliminated Fredrickson as the driver.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson criticized the investigation during closing arguments, calling it "flawed and sloppy, by virtually everybody that came into contact with it." He took specific aim at Mower County Detective/Investigator John Juenger, who the prosecution admitted made several crucial errors while handling the case.

Clinefelter was prepared for the accusation.

"Regardless of the fact that this case had a lead investigator who can’t even roll out of bed and tie his shoes in the morning, here’s the real irony," he said.


"The real irony is that (Nelson) complains about the investigation, then his own investigator uses all of those ‘terrible’ reports and information. He’s hoping you’ll isolate things and find holes; that’s all the defense is left with."

What To Read Next
Get Local