Ruthton woman charged with hitting teen with car while driving drunk

RUTHTON — A Ruthton woman has been charged with criminal vehicular operation after allegedly hitting a teenage boy with her car while under the influence of alcohol.

A criminal complaint was filed in Pipestone County District Court on Monday against Pauline Christin Jensen, 48, of Ruthton. Jensen has been charged with criminal vehicular operation, as well as failure to stop for a collision that caused an injury, fourth degree driving while impaired and driving after revocation.

According to the complaint, the Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a person hit by a vehicle at the Buffalo Ridge Express gas station in Ruthton around 9:25 p.m. on Dec. 3. When a deputy arrived on the scene, he found a female holding a 13-year-old boy who was screaming in pain, the complaint said.

The complaint said the deputy spoke with the victim’s brother, who said Jensen drove into the gas station parking lot, hitting the boy and sending him flying. The brother said Jensen stopped her car and yelled at the victim. However, when the brother asked Jensen to call an ambulance, she locked the car door, shook her head no, and drove to the Sunset Bar in Ruthton, the complaint said.

According to the complaint, the victim’s brother said he could identify Jensen, because she was dating his uncle.

A sergeant with the Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office found Jensen’s car at the bar and noticed damage on the vehicle, the complaint said. Jensen was taken to the Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office, where a preliminary breath test found she had an alcohol level of .170, the complaint said.

Jensen’s driver’s license was revoked in August 2016, the complaint said.

The injured boy was taken to the Tyler hospital, and later airlifted to Sioux Falls, the complaint said. According to the complaint, a Pipestone County Sheriff sergeant at the emergency room saw the boy had what looked like road rash on his legs, was bleeding above his right eye, and was complaining of hip and leg pain. The criminal complaint said a doctor told the sergeant the boy was also having trouble breathing, possibly because of broken ribs.

A bail hearing was held for Jensen on Dec. 4, court records said. Jensen was released on her own recognizance, with conditions including that she appear in court, not take or possess alcohol or drugs, and be subject to random testing. Jensen would still be allowed to serve alcohol to customers at her bar and restaurant, court records said.

Jensen was granted a public defender, and a hearing date was set for Dec. 13, court records said.