Woman charged with felony DWI allegedly left horse & trailer at crash scene

A woman facing her second DWI charge this month allegedly fled the crash scene, where she left a horse in an overturned trailer.

Laura Catherine Farrell, 38, of Good Thunder, was charged last week in Blue Earth County Court with felony DWI.  She’s also charged with violating driving restrictions and open bottle, both misdemeanors.

According to a criminal complaint:

On the evening of February 13, sheriff’s deputies responded to a crash off Deerwood Rd in Garden City,  where they found a horse trailer tipped on its side in the ditch.

Witnesses told deputies they had heard the crash from their home and saw a truck leave the crash scene.  They found a horse had been left in a trailer and was tied up by a rope that appeared to be choking the animal.  The witnesses freed the horse and helped it out of the trailer.

Police say the trailer was registered to Farrell’s mother.  Investigators were familiar with Farrell because of a DWI arrest less than a week before.

A truck registered to Farrell’s father – which matched the description given by witnesses –  was located driving on Co Rd 20 away from the crash scene.  Police say the truck had damage to the rear bumper, consistent with a crash involving a trailer.

During a traffic stop, Farrell’s father told investigators that Farrell was bringing a horse from Redwood to their home in Lake Crystal when the accident occurred.  Police say there was a strong smell of alcohol coming from Farrell and several empty beer cans fell from the truck when the door opened.

Farrell told police the horse had lunged during the drive and admitted she had left the crash scene to get a family member.

Farrell’s breath tests were deficient, and an ankle injury prevented her from performing certain field sobriety tests.

Police say Farrell was required to have an ignition interlock due to previous alcohol-related offenses.  The complaint says there was not an interlock in the truck.

Deputies allegedly recovered 14 empty beer cans from the truck.

The complaint says Farrell has two previous DUI convictions, one stemming from a 2020 arrest and another from 2018.

More about: