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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) -  A Rochester man has avoided a trial by entering into a last-minute plea agreement in a case involving the death of a 22-year-old Rochester woman last year.

21-year-old Deng Kwel entered a guilty plea this morning to a charge of criminal vehicular homicide for causing a high-speed traffic crash that claimed the life of Cynthia Gomez. Jury selection for his trial was set to begin today in Olmsted County Court.

photo courtesy Kraus-Anderson
photo courtesy Kraus-Anderson
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Court documents say Gomez was driving north on East Circle Drive on the afternoon of April 11, 2022, when a car driven by Kwel slid out of control through the median and smashed into her minivan near the entrance to Quarry Hill Park. The criminal complaint cited an accident reconstruction report the estimated Kwel was speeding at almost 90 mph just before the deadly crash.

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The criminal complaint also includes statements from multiple witnesses who reported Kwel was driving at a high rate of speed and weaving in and out of traffic just before his car went through the median, collided with the young woman's minivan, and then rolled several times. A video from a dash cam in one of the witness's vehicles shows Kwel's car was partially airborne when it smashed into the other vehicle.

Kwel complaint-Olmsted County Court
Kwel complaint-Olmsted County Court
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He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 20. The judge presiding over the case has ordered a pre-sentencing investigation. Court records currently show Kwel remains free without bail but with court-imposed conditions.

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