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Charges filed in 'road rage' hit-and-run crash

Charges were filed Thursday, in the case of a hit-and-run crash nearly three weeks ago in Cloquet that police previously described as a case of "road rage." A 38-year-old Cloquet woman was charged via summons Thursday, Feb. 3, by the Carlton County Attorney’s office.

Rebecca Lee Glader faces seven different charges, including three different counts of felony criminal vehicular operation-substantial bodily harm-driver who causes collision leaves scene, along with gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor traffic violations including failure to stop, failure to notify police, reckless driving and violating the “keep to the right” traffic law.

Although police spoke with Glader the same evening as the accident, the investigation by police and decisions by the county attorney’s office took time.

“From our standpoint, It's better to obtain as much information as possible and present a thorough case,” Cloquet police chief Derek Randall said.

According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement got a report of a crash on the southbound lane of Highway 45 in Cloquet at 5:38 p.m. Jan. 14.

At the scene of the crash, officers found a man who had been struck by a maroon Chevrolet Tahoe, which had left the scene of the accident.

According to the complaint, the Tahoe driver and her passenger had been following or pursuing the victim in his vehicle. There was a collision — which the criminal complaint does not explain — but which pushed the victim’s vehicle off the roadway into the snow.

Witnesses told law enforcement they allegedly observed the defendant continue driving her maroon Tahoe further after the collision, and then perform a U-turn on Highway 45, and drive back towards the victim and his stuck vehicle.

Witnesses alleged as she drove closer, the defendant drove her vehicle over the centerline, traveling northbound in the southbound lane of Highway 45, and then she drove partially onto the far shoulder where the victim was standing outside his vehicle, and hit the victim with her vehicle.

The victim’s significant other, Stacy Lancrain, told the Pine Knot News in the days after the accident that they were run off the road by the other vehicle, and then the driver turned around and hit Andrew (Drew) Wallien, before fleeing the scene.

According to Lancrain, Wallien went through a total of 14 hours of surgery that night and the next day for internal bleeding and damage to internal organs along with several fractures to his left hand, an injury to his left knee, and other injuries from being hit. Lancrain also has three broken ribs and a bruised kidney.

Lacrain told the PKN that she and Wallien were uninjured after the initial encounter. They were leaving the Holiday gas station on Cloquet Avenue and headed home for Duluth, she said. She had been driving, and he came around to help her out and check the damage, she said. Then he saw the other vehicle had turned around and was coming back. It was snowing at the time.

Glader allegedly said there was an earlier verbal altercation between the victim and her passenger.

According to the complaint, Glader also admitted to driving her Tahoe and following the victim, eventually hitting the victim’s car, after which it was sent “down into the ditch.” Glader allegedly said she did a U-turn and drove back towards the victim’s vehicle and drove over the centerline and into the other lane. She alleged the victim was then in the road way and “acting aggressive” as she drove near him and said she knew she hit something, with a “50-50 chance” she hit the victim.”

According to the criminal complaint, after dropping off her passenger, Glader texted him, allegedly writing: [it] “did not go the way (she) intended and didn’t expect (the victim) to do what he did.” She also allegedly wrote: “Still considered a hit-and-run I didn’t stop I panicked…”

Glader was not taken into custody, Randall said.

Her first court appearance is set for March 17.

Wallien didn’t have insurance and friends have started a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses. Go to gofundme.com and search “Please Help Drew after tragic accident” to find out more.

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