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ATV accident seriously injures young girl: Darwin man faces felony criminal vehicular injury charges
Monday, May 20, 2013

By Jennifer Kotila
Staff Writer

MEEKER COUNTY, MN – A Darwin man is facing two felony counts of criminal vehicular injury after seriously injuring a 5-year-old girl in an ATV accident at a park near Cosmos May 12.

According to a criminal complaint from the Meeker County Attorney’s Office, Michael Thomas Vollmer, 30, of Darwin faces four charges, including:

• criminal vehicular injury, negligent, alcohol, a felony;

• criminal vehicular injury, leaving a scene, a felony;

• driving under the influence, ATV, second degree, a gross misdemeanor; and,

• driving with an alcohol concentration of .08 or more, ATV, second degree, a gross misdemeanor.

Vollmer was driving an ATV at Thompson Lake Park near Cosmos at about 3 p.m. and tried to climb a steep embankment, rolling the ATV backwards on top of him and his passenger, Kaylie Garfin of Cosmos, according to a press release from the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office.

A woman at the scene of the accident attempted to help Garfin, who was bleeding profusely from the face, but Vollmer placed Garfin on the ATV to leave, according to the criminal complaint.

Vollmer again attempted to climb the embankment, and again rolled the ATV backward on top of himself and Garfin, neither of whom were wearing helmets, according to the press release.

The woman again attempted to help Garfin. However, Vollmer, a friend of Garfin’s father, resisted, leaving the scene with Garfin on the ATV, according to the criminal complaint.

The woman reported the accident to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, and Cosmos Ambulance transported Garfin from her grandparents’ home, where Vollmer had taken her, to Meeker Memorial Hospital, according to the press release.

Garfin was then transported to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis by Life Link Helicopter with life-threatening injuries. Her injuries included a face fracture that required two metal plates, numerous lacerations, bleeding on the brain, a broken rib, and a punctured lung, according to the criminal complaint.

Also assisting at the scene of the accident were the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office and Cosmos Fire Department.

Vollmer was arrested. He stated he had not drunk alcohol since the ATV accident occurred, but admitted to drinking alcohol before the accident.

He also admitted to feeling the affects of the alcohol, and that it affected his ability to drive, according to the criminal complaint.

More than four hours after the accident, a breath sample provided by Vollmer showed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.14, according to the criminal complaint.

If found guilty, Vollmer faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each of the criminal vehicular injury charges, and a maximum of one year in prison and a $3,000 fine for each of the driving under the influence charges.

Vollmer has a previous driving while intoxicated conviction from Dec. 31, 2005, according to the criminal complaint.

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