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Published February 26 2010

Man charged in snowmobile crash that killed police officer

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. – Charges have been filed against Mark Andrew Ruder, the driver involved in a Jan. 29 snowmobile crash that resulted in the death of an off-duty police officer here.

The crash killed Patrick Callaghan on a trail east of Alexandria.

Ruder, 25, was charged Thursday with two misdemeanor counts – operating a snowmobile at an unreasonable speed and operating a snowmobile without a valid snowmobile safety certificate.

Douglas County Attorney Chris Karpan said the complaint alleges Ruder operated the snowmobile at an excessive speed under the circumstances.

On the second count, Karpan said, Minnesota law provides that anyone born after Dec. 31, 1976, must have a valid snowmobile safety certificate in order to operate a snowmobile. Ruder did not, he said.

Ruder’s court date has been set for March 22.