Herald JournalHerald Journal, Jan. 19, 2004

Charges leveled after man jumps out of moving Jeep

By Lynda Jensen

One man received head injuries Friday after jumping out of a moving vehicle and being struck by an oncoming car along Seventh Street in Howard Lake.

Dustin Shoutz of Princeton, 18, formerly of Winsted, was airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center for injuries he received when he stepped out of the back left passenger side of a '87 Jeep Cherokee driven by Brian Gustad of Winsted, 17.

Gustad was going eastbound on Seventh Street, just east of Ninth Avenue near the Howard Lake Fire Hall, when the accident occurred about 11 p.m., said Howard Lake Police Chief Lenny Keyes.

The victim was "found lying on the ground, unconscious, but breathing," according to the accident report, which was done by Officer Tim Sonnek of the Howard Lake Police Department.

Shoutz was taken to the Dura Supreme parking lot, where a helicopter took him to the hospital.

Jeff Buttenhoff of Cokato, 35, was driving a '96 Chevrolet pickup truck westbound when he struck Shoutz on the road, Keyes said.

There were two other male passengers in the Gustad vehicle, a 16-year-old and 15-year-old.

One of the two was charged with underage consumption, said Lieut. Dan Anselment of the Wright County Sheriff's Department.

Both drivers were charged with alcohol-related offenses, Anselment said.

Buttenhoff was taken to the Buffalo Hospital to have his blood checked because he appeared to be impaired, Anselment said.

Buttenhoff was charged with criminal vehicular operation resulting in injury, and a third degree DUI, which is a gross misdemeanor, Anselment said.

"He wasn't driving in an adverse way," Anselment commented of Buttenhoff, but according to Minnesota law, the fact that Buttenhoff was intoxicated makes him culpable for the accident.

Gustad was charged with underage consumption.

There were no bystanders or witnesses to the accident, Anselment said.

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