Attorney charged with DWI, fleeing the scene, after allegedly hitting construction worker

James Patrick Carey
James Patrick Carey(Northern News Now)
Published: Oct. 9, 2023 at 3:45 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - After allegedly hitting a construction worker on I-35, an attorney at a Minneapolis-based personal injury law firm has been charged.

James Patrick Carey, 64, of Edina is facing several charges including DWI and hit-and-run, none of which are felonies.

According to the criminal complaint, on Friday, the Minnesota State Patrol was dispatched to the report of a vehicle versus pedestrian crash on northbound I-35 in Pine County.

When deputies arrived they found the 27-year-old victim from Duluth, who was wearing a high-visibility vest, in the ditch.

The victim stated he was working on the construction area and had just finished removing cones from the left lane.

He told authorities he was walking on the dirt portion of the shoulder towards his truck when he was hit by a passing vehicle.

Court documents say the victim’s truck was parked approximately 50 to 100 feet north of where he was hit.

Deputies on scene reviewed the area and found tire marks in the dirt on the shoulder.

They extended to a shadow of the pavement off the shoulder where it appeared a vehicle had made a steering correction from the dirt back onto the road.

In addition, there were pieces of an apparent side view mirror from a vehicle on the shoulder.

The part number on one of the pieces was for a 2016 GMC Acadia.

According to the criminal complaint, authorities then spoke to witnesses of the crash.

One stated she and her friend were driving northbound on I-35 and traffic was slowing down for the construction area.

She said there was a vehicle in front of her that was going on the shoulder to pass slower traffic in front of it.

The witness told authorities that she saw the vehicle hit the victim on the shoulder of the highway.

She added the vehicle had passed one or two cars before hitting the construction worker.

Another witness stated they saw a vehicle swerve to the shoulder and then saw it hit the construction worker.

All witnesses said the vehicle had not stopped after it hit the victim and had continued northbound.

A deputy from the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office located the 2016 GMC Acadia with a missing passenger side mirror approximately 35 miles away from the scene.

Authorities stated Carey had an odor of alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot and watery/glassy.

Carey allegedly told deputies he knew he had something in the construction zone but said he thought he had hit an orange sign.

However, he denied knowing he had hit a person and said he would have stopped.

Court documents state Carey said he had not been sleeping for a few days due to a death in the family and said he had taken sleeping pills.

In addition, he admitted to having three glasses of wine the previous day.

Carey’s blood alcohol content was .143, almost twice the legal limit.

A warrant was obtained and Carey agreed to provide a blood sample, which has been sent to the BCA for analysis.

The construction worker was transported to a nearby hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

He had severe bruising and swelling on his arm where he had been hit.

Carey is looking at up to 364 days in jail for the incident.

His next court date is set for December 28.

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