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Driver charged in crash that killed two sisters

HILLSBORO — A Nielsville, Minn., man has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide, accused of drunken driving in a May crash that killed two sisters who were riding in his vehicle.

James Gregory Yahnke, 51, was charged Wednesday in Traill County District Court with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide, Class A felonies.

Teja Robin Beyer, 21, of Red Lake Falls, Minn., and Mercedes Dawn Rowley, 23, of Sharon, were killed in the rollover crash May 17 about 12 miles northeast of Hillsboro. The sisters were ejected from the side windows of the 2014 Dodge Challenger after it hit the bumpy surface of Traill County Road 17 at a high rate of speed.

The sisters had both been strapped into the same seat belt, one sitting on the other’s lap, court documents say.

Law enforcement officers interviewed Yahnke at the scene, and he allegedly admitted to having had “apparently too much” to drink before getting in the car to drive himself and his passengers, according to court documents.

A warrant has been issued for Yahnke’s arrest.

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