Guilty plea in crash that injured Sobczak sisters

It took nearly an hour after the crash to remove Sobczak from the car because her leg was wrapped around the engine.

It took nearly an hour after the crash to remove Sobczak from the car because her leg was wrapped around the engine. (Submitted photo)

The St. Paul man involved in the crash that seriously injured the Sobczak sisters last year pleaded guilty to two counts against him Dec. 19.

Jon Ross Wentz, 47, entered his plea to two counts of criminal vehicular operation with a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.08. A jury trial set for February was cancelled.

A criminal complaint states that Wentz was driving his Buick westbound in the eastbound lane on Aug. 28 around 9 p.m. near Highway 5 and Stillwater Lane in Lake Elmo. His car crashed into the Sobczak sisters’ car. Marah Sobczak, 20 at the time, was driving, and Kalley Sobczak, 15 at the time, was in the passenger seat. Both were wearing their seat belts.

Charges were filed against Wentz about a year after the crash.

Complaint reports state that when law enforcement arrived on scene at the time of the crash Wentz was unconscious and slumped over the wheel of his car while the young women were awake, alert and pinned in their car.

At the time of the crash Wentz’s driving priveleges were revoked for a prior DWI conviction from 2011. The vehicle Wentz was driving had no insurance, and he had a methadone card on him. A blood sample obtained from Wentz by a St. Paul hospital revealed that he had a blood alcohol content of 0.08 and had methadone in his system.

The Sobczak sisters suffered serious injuries. Kalley Sobczak’s injuries included broken bones that needed screws and plates to heal, as well as fractures on her spine and ribs. Marah Sobczak suffered broken bones, respiratory failure, traumatic brain injury and more. The accident resulted in many surgeries and nearly led to the amputation of Marah Sobczak’s leg.

Both young women survived the crash and continue to recuperate.

Marah Sobczak, a hockey player at Gustavus Adolphus College and a 2010 Stillwater Area High School graduate, has since returned to the ice. Kalley Sobczak is a junior in high school.

The sentencing hearing for Wentz is set for Feb. 28 at 1:30 p.m.

Compiled by Avery Cropp – avery.cropp@ecm-inc.com

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