Deer River Man Pleads Not Guilty to Charges in Double-Fatal Crash
A Deer River man has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in connection to a fatal crash that left two people dead.
29-year-old Derrick Cloud is charged with two counts of Criminal Vehicular Homicide, Controlled Substance Crime in the Fifth Degree, Violation of an Order for Protection, Driving While Impaired in the Third Degree, and Driving after Suspension.
The charges stem from an incident in the early morning hours of September 8.
Authorities say that Cloud was drunk when he crashed his car into another vehicle on Highway 46, killing both occupants.
27-year-old Cory Jones and 21-year-old Jaclyn Howard were pronounced dead at the scene.
A preliminary breath test found Cloud’s blood alcohol content was .0153, nearly two times the legal limit.
According to the criminal complaint, Cloud allegedly told police that he had “drank too much.” He said that he had been up all night and had fallen asleep at the time of the crash.
Cloud told police he was drinking alcohol at his home and the Deer River Casino during the late evening and early morning hours with the crash victims prior to the collision.
He said they left his home and were driving to the Deer River Casino to meet his girlfriend before the crash happened.
Police say the two vehicles had been traveling southbound on Highway 46 when the Camaro pulled off to the shoulder of the highway and attempted to make a U-Turn. The trailblazer, driven by Cloud, struck the driver’s side of the Camaro and both cars went into the ditch.
After a search of Cloud’s car, authorities found an open bottle of beer, a suspected marijuana cigarette, a magazine with ammunition and cocaine residue on a Leatherman-type tool.
Cloud has a criminal history, including Domestic Assault and assault charges.
Court documents show that Cloud has violated his probation multiple times.
Cloud will be back in court on January 11.