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Published March 21, 2012, 05:48 PM

Man Faces Manslaughter Charge Linked to November Crash Near Amenia, ND

FARGO – A 25-year-old Cass County man faces a manslaughter charge in connection with a fatal rollover crash last Nov. 5 near Amenia that killed a passenger in the Chevy Suburban he was driving.

By: Forum Communications,

FARGO – A 25-year-old Cass County man faces a manslaughter charge in connection with a fatal rollover crash last Nov. 5 near Amenia that killed a passenger in the Chevy Suburban he was driving.

Keagan Allan Haas of Page also is charged with aggravated reckless driving, driving under suspension and driving without liability insurance.

Haas made his first appearance Wednesday in Cass County District Court on the charges filed March 9. Bail was set at $10,000 cash or bond.

According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol’s report, Haas was driving a 1998 Suburban on State Highway 18 two miles north of Amenia just before 1 a.m. on a Saturday when it went off a curve, entered the ditch and vaulted over an approach. The vehicle struck a stop sign while airborne, rolled when it landed and came to rest in a field, the report states.

Haas and two passengers were ejected from the vehicle. Passenger Joshua Melvin, 30, of Page, was pronounced dead at the scene. Haas and a 43-year-old female passenger, Jody Arttus of West Fargo, were hospitalized with multiple injuries.

Troopers found empty beers cans in the vehicle, as well as a cooler with three beers on ice, the report states.

Medical records from Sanford Health showed Haas had a blood alcohol concentration of .075 percent within an hour to 1½ hours after the crash, the patrol report states. Haas also received units of blood at the hospital, which may have diluted his blood, making the BAC lower, the report states.

A witness told the patrol that the Suburban passed him at a “very high rate of speed” before it crashed, the report states.

The Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office subpoenaed Haas’ cell phone records, which showed he received a text message within one to two minutes of the crash being reported, the patrol report states.

Haas faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the Class B felony manslaughter charge.

A woman who answered the phone at the office of the attorney appointed to defend Hass, Patrick O’Day, said O’Day had no comment on the case.

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