Driver charged in crash that killed an 18-year-old woman changes plea to guilty

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(ABC 6 News) – The man charged with driving drunk and killing an 18-year-old woman in a crash in southeast Rochester has changed his plea to guilty.

35-year-old Sterling Haukom amended his plea on Wednesday to be guilty to criminal vehicular homicide.

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Back in March, Haukom pleaded not guilty to criminal vehicular homicide and DWI charges

Rochester police said Haukom was driving north on 8th Avenue SE, when his truck collided with the vehicle driven by 18-year-old Erika Cruz. The force of the collision pushed both vehicles across the intersection and into a fence at Lincoln School.

According to court documents, Haukom was very animated and told officers that he was the driver of the Ford truck, that the other driver was deceased, and that he had killed her.

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According to court documents, officers could smell a strong odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath, eyes were glassy and his speech was slurred.

While interacting with officers, Haukom spontaneously stated, "I took that [expletive] woman’s life, bud."

Cruz later died as a result of injuries sustained in the collision.

A sentencing hearing for Haukom will be scheduled at a later date.