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'Road rage' suspect lands in lake

A truck driven by Rebecca Ann Koetter ended up on its side in Nelson Lake southeast of Brandon Saturday. She faces second-degree assault charges in connection with the incident that was reported as road rage. Echo Press photo by Izzy Rusch

It looked like the vehicles were playing bumper cars.

That's how one witness described a crash near Brandon Saturday that was reported as road rage.

The incident resulted in a truck rolling into a lake and felony charges against the driver.

Here's what happened, according to the criminal complaint:

At 6:44 p.m., Juli Kellerhuis of Brandon called the Law Enforcement Center and said her neighbor, Rebecca Ann Koetter, was trying to run her off the road.

Kellerhuis said that Koetter had called her several times that day but she didn't want to speak to her because she has past negative experiences with Koetter when Koetter had been drinking or was on medication.

Kellerhuis said that when she was leaving her residence in her Jeep, Koetter drove up in her truck and tried to block the driveway.

Kellerhuis drove across the lawn onto the road but Koetter followed her and tried to run her off the road, according to the complaint.

The two women continued driving east on County Road 82 and when they were approaching Nelson Lake, Koetter drove in front of Kellerhuis and tried to cut her off, according to the complaint.

The back of Koetter's pickup made contact with the front of Kellerhuis' Jeep, causing the pickup to spin sideways.

The truck then went backward into the ditch and ended up in Nelson Lake, landing on the driver's side.

Kellerhuis said her vehicle also went into the ditch but she was able to maintain control and drive back onto the road, stopping about an eighth of a mile down the road.

Passersby, sheriff's deputies, firefighters, and North Ambulance personnel were able to get Koetter out of her truck and into an ambulance.

A driver coming from the other direction witnessed the crash and told a deputy that it looked like the vehicles were playing bumper cars. He said that the pickup maneuvered in front of the Jeep and appeared to cut it off as though it wanted the Jeep to stop.

Koetter was taken to the Douglas County Hospital and later interviewed by a deputy who, according to the complaint, detected a strong odor of alcohol. Koetter also had bloodshot eyes and was slurring her words, according to the deputy.

Koetter told the deputy she didn't remember anything about the incident that led up to the crash. She said she had one mixed vodka drink, according to the complaint.

A blood-alcohol test was taken and the results are not yet known.

On Monday, Koetter, 55, was charged with assault in the second degree involving a weapon - in this case, her vehicle. It's a felony level crime.

She was also charged with fourth-degree driving while impaired and reckless driving