25-year-old charged with manslaughter nearly a year after fatal crash in Tioga

Hanson

A Tioga man is facing two felony charges stemming from a fatal crash that happened in November 2018.

Dacotah Hanson, 25, was charged Wednesday, Nov. 6, with manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury, both class B felonies. He was ordered held Thursday on $50,000 bond.

The investigation started on Nov. 29, 2018, when Draik Jessen, 29, was found pinned under the passenger side of an overturned pickup truck in a field near the Tioga airport. When police found Jessen’s body, there was frost around his nose and mouth, indicating he had been breathing after the truck rolled, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Northwest District Court.

Surveillance video from an airport hanger showed the truck driving in circles in a field for nearly five minutes before it rolled onto its passenger side. A man matching Hanson’s description was also shown on surveillance video walking toward Hanson’s apartment, court records state.

When interviewed by police several days later, Hanson told investigators he had been drinking at the Skol Bar with Jessen and asked Jessen to drive him home, charging documents indicate. A few days after that, he told officers that he didn’t remember much about the night because he’d been drinking heavily and that he couldn’t remember how or when he got home on the night of the crash.

During that interview he also said he remembered being in the truck with Jessen, and that there was a possibility he was driving, court documents state.

“Hanson stated it was obvious he was there, but claimed not to remember anything,” investigators wrote in the probable cause affidavit.

At a bond hearing Thursday, Michael Kuna, assistant state’s attorney for Williams County, asked for Hanson’s bond to be set at $60,000. He argued the affidavit showed Hanson was a danger to the public. Northwest District Judge Josh Rustad set bond at $50,000.

Hanson has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Dec. 4.

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