Charges filed against man who smashed into bus shelter, injuring three


A Minneapolis man, who crashed into a bus shelter on Lake Street, was charged with three counts of criminal vehicular operation, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Michael Boucher, 40, was charged with criminal vehicular operation causing great bodily harm to one victim, substantial bodily harm for a second victim and bodily harm for a third victim. He is expected to make his first court appearance Thursday afternoon.

According to the criminal complaint, Metro Transit police were called to the bus shelter at Lake Street and 22nd Avenue South early Sunday evening and found the shelter smashed and, a short distance away, Boucher digging under the seats of a black vehicle. He was arrested and several hypodermic needles were found in the area where Boucher was searching.

Video cameras and the interview with a fourth victim indicated that Boucher was driving westbound on Lake Street at speeds faster than the other drivers. He slammed into the rear of a vehicle ahead of him, then swerved and smashed into the bus shelter, the complaint states. After hitting the people in the shelter and the shelter itself, he drove across a nearby driveway, through a business complex and then stopped at a concrete wall.

Officers found a man face down on the pavement bleeding heavily with severe injuries to his legs. One of his legs was later amputated and his other injuries, including a skull fracture and abdominal bleeding, has kept him unconscious, according to the complaint.  A second man stumbled into a nearby restaurant, bleeding from his face and having trouble breathing. He suffered broken ribs on his left side.

A third man was next to the bus shelter and he had puncture wounds to his upper abdomen and injuries to his legs, hands, hip and elbow, the complaint states.

Investigators obtained a search warrant to take a blood sample from Boucher. He told investigators that he had used cocaine and marijuana that morning but that he had a coughing fit which caused him to lose consciousness, according to the complaint. When he came to, he was about to hit the other car, so he swerved. A passenger in Boucher’s car said there was no coughing or sneezing fit before the collision.

Criminal complaint (PDF)