Following a street dance in McHenry early on Sunday, Cayler Ellingson was hit and murdered. According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol, the incident happened around 2:35 a.m. on Sunday in McHenry.
Cayler Ellingson was 18 years old.
A driver accused of intentionally hitting a teenager with his SUV in North Dakota, resulting in his death, allegedly told authorities that he did so after the two of them got into a political dispute, according to court filings.
Following a street dance, Cayler Ellingson, 18, was struck and killed in McHenry early on Sunday. Shannon Brandt, 41, the driver accused of running into Ellingson in an alley, is charged in Foster County with vehicular murder and fleeing the scene of a fatal accident.
Brandt was released from custody on Tuesday after posting a $50,000 bond, according to Stutsman County jail records, where he was being kept. A call to his lawyer for comment was not immediately returned.
According to a probable cause document, Brandt told investigators he left the area after striking Ellingson, came back for a brief moment, dialled 911, and then departed once more.
According to the court record, Brandt admitted to drinking before hitting Ellingson and claimed he believed the adolescent was calling individuals to attack him as a result of their argument and that he felt intimidated. Ellingson passed away after being taken urgently to a Carrington hospital.
Later on Sunday, investigators detained Brandt at his Glenfield residence. According to officials, he gave his assent to a chemical breath test, which revealed that his blood alcohol content was higher than the legal driving limit of 0.08%.
The claim made by Brandt in his political argument has not been proven, according to Capt. Bryan Niewind of the North Dakota Highway Patrol, who assisted in the investigation into the death. This is because the investigation is still ongoing and more witnesses need to be questioned. The specifics of the alleged disagreement have not been made public.
The affidavit stated that Ellingson’s parents later admitted to police that they knew Brandt but did not think their son did. When Ellingson called her at around 2:40 a.m. and inquired as to whether she knew Brandt, she was en route to pick him up from McHenry, according to Ellingson’s mother. A little while later, Ellingson called and said that “he” or “they” were pursuing him. After then, she was unable to contact him, according to the document.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol initially reported that a Ford Explorer struck a person who “received major injuries” before passing away.
As of Thursday morning, a GoFundMe for Ellingson had amassed more than $27,000.
Ellingson “passed to heaven and will be mourned by his Mom, Dad, Brother, Uncles, Aunts, numerous Family and Friends,” the page reads.
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