Man charged in fatal hit-and-run

Christopher Allen Trautman faces 14 criminal charges, after a fatal hit-and-run that left one University of Minnesota student critically injured.


Christopher Allen Trautman faces 14 criminal charges, including three counts of criminal vehicular homicide, after being involved in a fatal hit-and-run over the weekend that left one University of Minnesota student critically injured.

Trautman, a 32-year-old from Oronoco, Minn., could face 11 felony charges and three gross misdemeanors. The charges could carry a maximum fine of up to $137,000 and 55 years in prison.

Alcohol was a factor in the incident, Olmsted County Prosecutor Jim Martinson said. TrautmanâÄôs preliminary blood alcohol content reading was 0.189, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

On Friday evening, Trautman went to dinner with a woman at an Olive Garden in Rochester, where the two had a few drinks. Following dinner, they proceeded to a bar where the defendant became “too intoxicated to drive,” the woman said in the criminal complaint.

The passenger, Heather Gillund, asked Trautman to take a cab back to her apartment but when Trautman became belligerent in response, Gillund complied and they drove away in his green Honda Civic.

Near midnight, Trautman ran a red light and struck two pedestrians, including University senior Chris Glenski and his friend, 23-year-old Austin John Melville, a graduate of Winona State University. Melville later died at a local hospital.

Upon striking Glenski and Melville, Trautman assured Gillund “everything was going to be OK,” according to the complaint. Witnesses estimate that Trautman had been traveling close to 50 miles per hour in a 30 mile-per-hour zone.

After the first incident, Trautman drove away even faster, only to hit two more pedestrians four blocks away. One of the victims, 23-year-old Rebecca Dass, landed on top of the vehicle before falling onto the ground. She appeared to suffer a compound fracture on her right leg, according to the complaint.

Trautman hit a light pole after striking Dass and a 30-year-old victim identified as Tum Chan. Trautman fled on foot after abandoning his vehicle but an officer later arrested him after spotting him leaving a Days Inn hotel.

Chan and Dass, both from Rochester, were transported to a local hospital where they were scheduled to undergo surgery for their injuries. They are expected to live.

Trautman sustained cuts to his face in the incidents. A field sobriety test was administered but Trautman quickly gave up and stated, “IâÄôm drunk.” His attorney could not be reached for comment.

Trautman has a history of drunk driving violations, including an underage drinking and driving violation in 1998 and a DWI in 1999. His record included other non-driving offenses.

A judge approved a $200,000 unconditional bail Monday. A conditional bail of $100,000 was also set, which forbids Trautman from using alcohol or drugs and will allow him to be subject to random searches and alcohol testing, Martinson said.

Glenski underwent surgery Monday to repair his leg, his mother Margaret said.

Martinson said TrautmanâÄôs next court date is scheduled for Dec. 13 in Olmstead County.