The driver of a tour bus on its way home from an Iowa casino lost consciousness, causing the crash that killed two and injured 20 in southern Minnesota last month, a county prosecutor said Friday.
Freeborn County Attorney Craig Nelson said no charges would be filed against the driver, Edwin Erickson, 52, of Elgin.
Nelson, who has examined most of the case report put together by the Minnesota State Patrol, said Erickson suffered a medical condition and blacked out.
"He had some internal bleeding that he was not aware of, and it came on very rapidly," Nelson said in an interview Friday with MPR. "There isn't the basis for criminal charges here."
Erickson was driving the bus owned by Bold Lines Inc. of Rochester when it crossed the median on Interstate 90 near Austin and landed on its side in a ditch. The company, which operates under the name Strain Tours, has said Erickson suffered a ruptured aneurysm just before the crash.
Nelson said information from the investigation shows it wasn't an aneurysm. Nelson also said the internal bleeding might have killed Erickson had he been somewhere else.
"But for this collision, and the emergency response that occurred thereafter, including the emergency response that attended to the driver, the driver would be dead," he said.
Erickson's current condition is not known, but Nelson said his condition deteriorated in the days after the crash. Investigators were able to interview Erickson after the crash, Nelson said.
State Patrol spokesman Capt. Matt Langer said investigators still have to send some additional information about the crash to the Freeborn County Attorney's Office, but Nelson said he's been told it won't change his overall conclusions.
After reviewing the entire case, Nelson will send his final determination to the State Patrol.
(MPR's Elizabeth Dunbar contributed to this report)