Driver pleads guilty in vehicle-pedestrian crash that killed teenager

A driver who left the scene of an Isanti County collision in September 2015 that resulted in the death of a teenager riding his skateboard has pleaded guilty.

Adam James Maki

The incident occurred around 8:15 p.m. along 285th Avenue Northeast, east of Highway 65, on Sept. 10, 2015, and involved driver Adam James Maki, 31, of Isanti, and 15-year-old Antonio Ramon DeMeules.

Maki pleaded guilty before Judge Douglas Meslow on May 10 in Isanti County District Court in Cambridge to the felony charge of failing to stop at a traffic collision causing injury or death. Maki was initially charged Nov. 23, 2016.

Following the May 10 hearing, Maki was released on his own recognizance with conditions, or unconditional bail was set at $25,000. Part of Maki’s conditions include alcohol monitoring, no use or possession of alcohol or drugs, no traffic-related charges, make future court appearances and remain law-abiding.

Sentencing for Maki is set for 1:30 p.m. July 21. The maximum sentence is three years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.

“Mr. Maki entered a straight guilty plea to the charge, and based upon the dynamics of the case, our office didn’t feel it would be appropriate to engage in plea negotiations,” said Isanti County Attorney Jeff Edblad. “All terms and conditions of Mr. Maki’s sentence will ultimately be determined by the judge at sentencing.”

When emergency responders arrived at the scene, they found DeMeules severely injured, lying in the middle of the westbound lane of traffic on 285th Avenue Northeast; he was transported to Cambridge Medical Center, where he was pronounced deceased.

DeMeules was a sophomore at Blaine High School who also attended Anoka Middle School for the Arts.

According to the criminal complaint, trooper Vang Yang of the Minnesota State Patrol completed a crash reconstruction report in which Yang noted DeMeules was the rider of the skateboard and was seen skateboarding in the eastbound lane and last seen sitting on his skateboard in the middle of the westbound lane. Yang noted DeMeules was wearing dark clothing and that he sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash. Yang noted there is no evidence to support Maki was traveling over the posted speed limit at the time of the crash.

Yang noted one witness had seen a glimpse of DeMeules in the eastbound lane when he passed him in the westbound lane.

Another witness stated DeMeules was wearing dark clothing. The same witness only saw DeMeules because of the striped patterns on his arms. The same witness also stated she saw DeMeules sitting on a skateboard in the middle of the westbound lane as she passed him in the eastbound lane.

It was concluded Maki was the driver of the vehicle involved in the collision and he did not immediately stop the vehicle – at the scene of the collision or as close to the scene as possible and reasonable – to investigate what was struck, and that the collision resulted in the death of another person.