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State v. Iten

Minnesota Court of Appeals
401 N.W.2d 127 (1987)


Facts

Raymond Iten (defendant) was driving his tractor-trailer truck on a highway. As he neared an intersection, Iten observed the traffic light switch from green to yellow and then to red when he was about 320 feet from the intersection. Iten believed he could not stop safely in time so he honked his horn to alert other cars. Iten noticed another car driven by Marna Quarnstrom entering the intersection. Although Iten attempted to miss Quarnstrom’s vehicle, the truck’s front bumper hit her car. Quarnstrom was killed when she was thrown from her vehicle and struck by Iten’s truck. Iten immediately stopped the truck and remained at the scene. Iten was subsequently charged with criminal vehicular operation resulting in death. At trial, evidence showed that Iten has not maintained the truck’s brakes as required by federal and state law. Evidence also showed that Iten could have stopped the truck in time. Iten testified that he did not stop because he was afraid that the load would shift, the brakes would lock or catch fire, or that the truck would jack-knife. Iten was convicted and he appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Nierengarten, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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