Cleveland man charged in crash that left passenger seriously injured

A Cleveland man has been charged in a crash that left a woman seriously injured last month.

Michael Jacob Passmore, 37, was charged Wednesday in Le Sueur County Court with felony criminal vehicular operation.

According to a criminal complaint, Le Sueur County deputies were dispatched at 5:25 a.m. Dec 2 to a single-vehicle crash on County Rd 15 south of 366th St.

According to a criminal complaint, deputies arrived to find an SUV in a field, and Passmore and Heather Gordan standing roadside.  A passenger, Crystal Lee Shields, now 35, had been ejected from the vehicle and was lying in the ditch, according to the complaint.

Shields was airlifted to Mayo Clinic in Rochester for treatment of her injuries, according to court documents.

Deputies were initially told that Gordan was driving the vehicle and the three occupants were on their way to Le Sueur to get cigarettes.

Court documents say Gordon originally told deputies she came around a corner and passed a truck at 40 mph when she hit the side of the road and rolled.

Passmore said he was a passenger in the vehicle, according to the complaint.

A witness said the SUV was going about 80 miles per hour before the vehicle discharged sparks and rolled several times.  He could not recall who got out of the driver’s side.

In a Dec 4 interview with investigators, Gordon said Michael Passmore was driving.

Gordan allegedly told police that Passmore, Shields, and herself had all used methamphetamine before the crash and were on their way to Le Sueur for more drugs.

Gordon told investigators Passmore was showing off how fast his vehicle could go, which distressed Shields.

Investigators interviewed Crystal Shields on Dec 9.  Shields said in the interview that Passmore appeared to be high prior to the crash.

Shields sustained serious injuries in the crash, according to the complaint, including multiple fractures in her spine, ribs, and pelvis.  Shields told investigators she could only slightly move one leg and was hospitalized for about 12 days.

Police say an insurance check revealed Passmore had last had the SUV insured in Sept 2021 and his driver’s license was revoked.  He’s also been charged with driving after revocation, careless driving, and failure to drive with due care.


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