Kasota woman charged in Biolife building crash

A Kasota woman is facing charges in a crash that heavily damaged a Mankato building.

Heidi Zia Larsen, 42, was charged last week in Blue Earth County Court with felony 1st-degree property damage, and misdemeanor counts of DWI and open bottle.

Officers were dispatched to a call of a vehicle that had driven through a building shortly before 9 p.m. on Sept 8. Mankato police responded to the Biolife Plasma Services building on Teton Lane to find “the front entrance of the building was completely destroyed,” according to a criminal complaint.

Court documents say the damages well exceeded $1,000, and included shards of glass, broken countertops, furniture, wires hanging from the ceiling, and debris scattered through the front entrance.

The complaint says the vehicle – which had been driven by Larsen –  was approximately 100 feet inside the building and Larsen was still in the driver’s seat.  Police say a nearly empty 1.75-liter bottle of vodka was sitting in the backseat. The complaint says Larsen admitted to drinking over half the bottle of vodka and said consuming THC earlier that day.

Larsen told police she used to work at Biolife, but had been on leave from her job.  The complaint says she claimed the leave had been stressful for her and that she had planned the crash, hoping to kill herself.  She told investigators she waited until after 8:30 pm. because she thought all the customers would have been gone by that time.

Larsen allegedly claimed that she didn’t know anyone was inside the building at the time of the crash, although the complaint says a number of employees were still there. Investigators say one person had to jump out of the way as Larsen came crashing through the building.

Police say Larsen smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech, and had an unsteady gait.  A portable breath test put her blood-alcohol level at .23.