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Driver Says He Was Playing 'Air Guitar' and 'Jamming Out' When He Fatally Struck Pedestrian: Police

Brent Keranen, 21, has been charged with one count of criminal vehicular manslaughter

<p>Carlton County</p> Brent Keranen

Carlton County

Brent Keranen

A Minnesota driver claims he was “jamming out” and playing “air guitar” when he allegedly fatally struck a pedestrian, according to the criminal complaint obtained by multiple news outlets.

Brent Keranen, 21, was charged Friday with one count of criminal vehicular manslaughter in connection with the crash that killed 61-year-old Justin McNeil on March 21 in Carlton County, CBS News, ABC affiliate KSTP-TV and Northern News Now report, citing the criminal complaint.

Authorities said Keranen was driving along Highway 73 that afternoon when he traveled out of his lane and allegedly fatally stuck McNeil, who was walking on the shoulder of the road, CBS News reports.

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During police questioning, Keranen allegedly claimed he was listening to a song he loved on the radio and began playing "air guitar" when the airbags suddenly went off, according to the complaint cited by CBS News. Keranen reportedly said he was unaware he had struck someone.

According to the complaint, which was also cited by KSTP-TV, Keranen allegedly told authorities he was driving with his cruise control set to 52 in a 40 mph zone. Authorities conducted a field sobriety test on him, and the results reportedly showed that his blood alcohol level was 0.06, which is less than the legal limit of 0.08, per the complaint. Authorities also reportedly sent out a blood sample for testing after being granted a search warrant.

Keranen allegedly claimed to police that prior to the fatal crash, he struck a state patrol trooper’s car after falling asleep at the wheel, but was let go with a citation, KSTP-TV reports, citing the complaint.

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It’s unclear if he has entered a plea or retained an attorney to speak on his behalf.

According to Northern News Now, Keranen is expected in court on April 1.

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Read the original article on People.