Mandan News

Almont man charged with negligent homicide in mail carrier’s death

By Jenny Michael

An Almont man faces a negligent homicide charge for his part in a July crash that killed a New Salem woman.
Ernest Borntrager, 21, was charged Tuesday with the Class C felony. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Borntrager is accused of negligently causing the death of Martha Kautzman, who was critically injured in a July 7 crash north of New Salem. Kautzman, 66, died July 30 from her injuries.

North Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Jake Thompson wrote in an affidavit that Borntrager was northbound on Highway 31 near mile marker 82 north of New Salem at 9:30 a.m. July 7, and Kautzman, who was delivering mail, was stopped on the shoulder at the intersection of Highway 31 and 34th Street. Borntrager swerved to the right to avoid striking a vehicle traveling in front of him, crossed 34th Street and struck Kautzman’s vehicle on the driver’s side.

Thompson wrote that Borntrager was pulling a trailer loaded with a skidsteer, and the trailer did not have functioning brakes. Based on a crash reconstruction, officers believe Borntrager was exceeding the posted 65 mph speed limit.

A Class C felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.