His girlfriend fell off his motorcycle on the freeway and he left her on the side of the road
A Minnesota man is accused of driving off and leaving his mortally injured girlfriend on the side of the road after she fell from his motorcycle.
Myles W. Eckman, 24, of St. Paul, was charged in Washington County District Court with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide, alleging negligent driving while under the influence of alcohol and a controlled substance and leaving the scene of an accident.
According to the criminal complaint, troopers from the Minnesota State Patrol received a report in the early hours of Nov. 18 about a fatal accident on Interstate 35 in Forest Lake, 25 miles north of St. Paul.
Troopers responding to the call at 4:43 a.m. found a woman, Ena M. Bhatia, 21, of St. Paul, lying dead on the right shoulder of the highway. Bhatia had head trauma, and “there was blood on the right lane of traffic away from where her body was found,” the complaint states. A black leather jacket with road abrasions on the sleeves was found about 50 yards north of the victim.
No motorcycle or other vehicle was found nearby.
A witness who had driven by the scene reported having seen a motorcycle on the side of the highway and “a person standing next to a brown object (the victim) on the side of the road,” the complaint states. “The witness believed the object to be a deer.”
Traffic cameras on Interstate 35 showed a passenger falling off the back of a motorcycle at 4:38 a.m. Three minutes later, the rider can be seen circling back to the scene and “then leaving a short time later, exiting I-35 at (Highway) 2 in Forest Lake,” the complaint states.
Later that morning, Eckman’s father contacted the highway patrol, saying he had heard about the fatal crash and was worried. He said his son and Bhatia had left his house that morning on his motorcycle going north toward Forest Lake.
Other friends of Eckman and Bhatia also called authorities to say the couple could have been involved in the fatal crash, the complaint states.
Just before 10 a.m., the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office received a report of someone attempting to push a motorcycle into a pond in Columbus, just east of Forest Lake. Eckman was found inside a nearby barn. While being taken into custody, he “asked if his girlfriend was OK,” the complaint states.