A 72-year-old Proctor man will not face felony charges for his involvement in a fatal collision with a bicyclist in Hermantown last September.
Instead, Lowell Rudd has been charged by the Hermantown city attorney with two misdemeanors - careless driving and failure to keep to the right - in the death of Richard Brill.
Brill, 44, of Superior, was killed after he was struck by Rudd's sport utility vehicle as Brill was riding his bike near the intersection of Lavaque and Morris Thomas roads in Hermantown on Sept. 27. Brill died at the scene.
Rudd was not taken into custody and the investigation into whether or not to charge him with a crime has simmered for months as the accident reconstruction awaited review by Minnesota State Patrol investigators.
The case was sent to the St. Louis County Attorney's Office last week.
"I reviewed it and there won't be felony or gross misdemeanor charges in the case," Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Chris Pinkert said Monday.
Pinkert could not elaborate on his decision at the time, he said, because the case was still pending with the city attorney, who chose to file the misdemeanor counts.
After the charges were filed Tuesday, the Hermantown Police Department said it would have “no further comment on the incident at this time.”
The preliminary investigation by Hermantown police at the crash scene revealed that Rudd's southbound vehicle crossed over the centerline into the northbound lane when it struck Brill on what was a clear Sunday afternoon.
The Hermantown police had been waiting for the Minnesota State Patrol's review of the reconstruction of the crash before turning the case over to the county attorney, Police Chief Jim Crace said Monday.
He called the death "a tragedy." Crace could not identify what led to Rudd's vehicle crossing into the opposing lane, saying it was still unknown.
"It's clear the vehicle going over the centerline caused the death of Mr. Brill," Crace said. "Why it crossed the centerline is a little more fuzzy."
The State Patrol's investigation found that Rudd had been driving between 41 and 44 mph in the 40 mph zone and that "there was no physical evidence (Rudd) attempted to swerve or brake prior to the crash."
Hermantown police said last fall that Rudd had shown no signs of impairment at the crash scene, and had passed field sobriety tests.
Rudd has no criminal history in the state’s court records. Attempts to reach him Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Brill was a popular staff member in the University of Minnesota Duluth's Labovitz School of Business and Economics. A director of technology, he was regarded as something other than a stereotypical information technologist. Colleagues previously told the News Tribune he made a point of getting to know the people who were behind the technical requests addressed by his office.
Shortly after his death, a flag football tournament was named in his honor during UMD's homecoming week. Brill had been organizing a team from the Labovitz School prior to his death.