Drunk driver strikes and kills Champlin Park High School student

Brooklyn Center teenager dies after car accident on Highway 252


BY Paul Groessel

Sun POST Newspapers


A 16-year-old Brooklyn Center teenager has died a week after being injured in a car accident on Highway 252 in Brooklyn Park.

Jason McCarthy, a Champlin Park High School student, was struck by a car traveling at a high rate of speed while waiting for a Highway 252 left turn signal onto 73rd Avenue on Tuesday, July 22, according to a Minnesota State Patrol incident report. He died on Tuesday, July 29. According to a report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, McCarthy died from “complications from blunt force craniocerebral injuries” sustained in the accident.

“Our hearts are hurting any time there is a tragedy in our CPHS family,” Champlin Park High School Principal Mike George said in a statement. “In times such as these we do all we can to support our students, families and staff.”

Some thoughts were shared on a CaringBridge webpage set up for McCarthy, where there were messages of support and glimpses of the teenager.

“What a wonderful, caring, talented, fine young man he was!” read one post from someone who identified himself as one of McCarthy’s teachers.

Minnesota State Patrol spokesperson Sgt. Jesse Grabow said that the incident is under investigation, and they are awaiting accident reconstruction reports and results of a blood test given to Michael VanWagner of Coon Rapids, who reportedly struck McCarthy’s vehicle, according to a State Patrol report. The blood tests would reveal alcohol or drug use, Grabow said.

Grabow said VanWagner was heading southbound on Highway 252 when he sideswiped a vehicle near 85th Avenue before rear-ending McCarthy’s vehicle at 73rd Avenue.

It is unclear how long it will take to get results for the blood test or the accident reconstruction report, Grabow said. It has taken up to a month to receive blood test results, he said. The accident reconstruction or forensics mapping “can take up to two, sometimes three months maybe even longer, depending on the investigation,” Grabow said.


Contact Paul Groessel at [email protected] or follow the Sun Post on Twitter @ECMSunPost.