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Mike Bryant
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Drunk Driver Charged With Killing Buffalo Teen


Last week, I looked at the head on collision that killed a Buffalo High student on Wright County Road 35. At that time there were questions about how this could happen. The road is straight there. Why would a pickup cross the center line? Investigation has now disclosed that the truck was speeding, had no headlights, was in the wrong lane, and the driver had been drinking.

The Minneapolis Tribune captured the feelings of the family in the way you see so often in these case:

"It seems like each day we find out a little bit more about this," said Adam Hoglund, Kramnic’s uncle. "It’s hard not to be incredibly angry."


(The) family is anticipating the next day in court. "We’ll be there every step of the way to see he gets what’s coming to him," Hoglund said.

The driver has been charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide in the death.


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  1. j says:
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    The police reports haven’t even come back as completed yet. Watch what you say – right now there is NO proof that Todd Lifto had been drinking.

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    Yes, the .24 was from the hit and run in 05. The wrong lane, speeding and no headlights is what got the charges started in this death. The officer reported the smell of alcohol in this death. Come on back and post when the test comes back. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

  3. j says:
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    It has been almost a month since the accident. It CAN’T take that long to get a B.A.C.

    You may think the victims family is going through a lot. However, so is the family of Todd Lifto.

    The September incident and the incident from 2005 should not even be brought into this situation. Past occurences are NO PROOF of what everyone is accusing Todd Lifto of.

  4. Mike Bryant says:
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    Unfortunately we are seeing many months back up with the Minnesota BCA, especially with the change due to the intoxilizer machine ruling. I have written many times that there are so many people who are involved that are affected on all sides. As I’ve written, it does seem that the wrong side, no lights, and speeding was a factor no matter what.

  5. Angie says:
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    First of all the accident happened 11/21 it has not been almost a month. Second JJ’s Dad has now lost his ONLY child. Todd made the choice to get behind the wheel let’s say alcohol didn’t play a factor well I am pretty sure that accident could have been prevented had he had his headlights on been on the right side of the road and maybe doing the speedlimit. It’s hard to feel sorry for a repeat offender that continues to make poor choices. Let justice be served!!!!!!!!

  6. Mike Bryant says:
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    Thanks for the comments Angie.

  7. David says:
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    My brother was the lead paramedic on scene…the truck driven by Lifto was doing around 70-80 as shown by the wreckage. The Truck lifted onto the car and drove over part of the driver side of Jon’s car and took air and came down on its side less than 30 feet from initial impact. The front end of Jon’s car was totally impacted, and the medics had to perform a rear-door extraction. In a situation like this with witnesses, assumptions are quite close to accurate. Legal satisfaction will never bring back a great kid, and we all have lost because of an extremely stupid piece of judgement by Lifto. It’s something he will surely have to mill over in a very small space for several years to come.

  8. Mike Bryant says:
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    That really some information David. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

  9. j says:
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    The recent Lakeville accident that killed three is just another example of why ALL of you had best shut your traps before knowing ALL of the facts first. There was no suspected alcohol in the 17 year-old driver from Dundas, yet he crossed the centerline and was driving without his headlights on, like Lifto was.

    Until ALL of you know for a fact that alcohol was a factor in the Lifto accident, KEEP YOUR TRAPS SHUT. It hasn’t been proven that he had been drinking and driving. Perhaps both were cases of cell phones being used while driving. Everybody should just hang-up and concentrate on the road – even if a cell phone wasn’t the cause in either accident.

    You certainly don’t ever see me using a cell phone while driving. If I absolutely have to, I pull into a parking lot and make a call.

  10. Mike Bryant says:
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    No evidence of the officer smelling alcohol in that incident. In fact they have gone out of their way to say no alcohol or drugs suspected in that case. Very sad story on the front page of the Tribune this afternoon. I again thank you for taking the time to comment. Cell phone use would be just as bad as I believe you seem to be agreeing with.

  11. K says:
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    Maybe j should be sure he has all the information before he so rudely tells people to keep their traps shut. I have followed each and every article and will list them for j so he can look them up. The Star & Tribune 11/24/09, 11/25/09,
    11/26/09 and 12/02/09. Then you can go to KSTP 11/25/09 and also to WCCO 11/23/09 and 11/25/09.
    Just type in Lifto’s name when you are looking for the article. Oh and by the way, you may just find a reference to Mr. Lifto’s previous driving experiences. K

  12. Mike Bryant says:
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    If it wasn’t such a serious issue, I would wonder when L and M are going to weigh in. The facts are clear about a lot of what happened and with the driving record. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

  13. j says:
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  14. Mike Bryant says:
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    I don’t agree, and expect that the past convictions will be used to enhance the new charges. I would guess the capitalization is yelling, and will again say that we understand that they are a lot of innocents that are hurt in these incidents.

  15. Angie says:
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    Todd Lifto’s family has the luxury of seeing/speaking to him anytime they want whether it be in the hospital right now or hopefully in prison J.J.’s family will never have that opportunity again. So I would be careful of saying that Todd Lifto and his family are going through or feeling any pain close to what J.J.’s family is feeling. You can continue to argue and debate this as much as you want but you can not justify the actions of a selfish human being who made several poor decisions that cost a 17 year old child his life, and his family the chance of a future with their son, grandson, brother, and friend.

  16. Mike Bryant says:
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    Angie, you describe the personal side as well as any relative we have talked to in any of these types of situation. For all of the innocents the hurt and anger is very personal. I extend my sympathy to all of you. Thanks for the comment.

  17. j says:
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    Yea – whatever you say Angie.

    And for your information, Todd’s family can’t even talk to him.

    Enough said.

    Bye all of you losers, including Mike Bryant.

  18. Mike Bryant says:
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    Well, I’ve been clear with how I feel about this. We will continue to watch as the story moves along.

  19. Jessica says:
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    First I would like to thank you Mike for bringing this tragic event to light. I knew JJ for a very short time. He was a wonderful boy happy and full of life. He was loved by his family and friends which was evident by the hundreds that attended his wake and funeral. This coward that hides behind his computer with only the letter j to identify him sickens me. For someone to defend such a reckless act of violence speaks to the character of this coward. This man Todd Lifto knew what he was doing regardless of his prior acts he is the one who chose to get behind the wheel of a car that night. He alone didn’t turn his headlights on. He didn’t drive in the correct lane and he was the one who chose to speed. If we take a look at just these incidents and don’t take into account that he was drunk these are reckless on their own. So you j should be ashamed of yourself. A boy is dead. A child in his senior year of high school. He will never get to go to college. He will never get to marry. He will never have children of his own. He will never know what it feels like to grow old. His family will never be the same. This man ripped away a precious part of their lives. He selfishly took that from them. This Christmas and many others they will be reminded of the horror that struck their family just before Thanksgiving 2009. So defend him that’s what cowards do. They defend horrible people like Todd Lifto. Who will defend JJ? This man gets to live. He gets to breath. He gets another chance. I hope he dedicates his life to making this up to the hundreds of people he hurt. That’s right it’s not just JJ’s family it’s an entire community he has hurt. Yes j you say that we can’t take Todd’s prior acts into consideration and you’re right, some scumbag lawyer will probably fight to have those not enter into evidence in his hearing. Is that justice? Is that justice for JJ, for his family, for his friends? What does that show the children, his classmates? It shows them that there aren’t always consequences for you actions. That shows them that they can do the same bad act over and over and walk away from it. People are supposed to be accountable for their actions. If we let people like Todd Lifto repeat their bad acts what kind of example are we setting for generations to come? I don’t doubt that the family of Todd Lifto is hurting. If a member of my family killed a child I would be hurting to hurting with shame, hurting with guilt, hurting with embarrassment. I would be angry to but with him not with the people that are still morning JJ. So you write in your capitol letters. Maybe this is the only way you can get your anger out. I suggest you go to therapy and not vent on a public forum where you look like a fool. You are arguing with people who have love in their hearts for a boy who had love for life. You are in the wrong place. Make your own blog. Spread your hate somewhere else. So when you see this take a moment to read my words before you answer. Let them sink in. Put yourself in the shoes of this whole community of people. Put someone else before you. Think of JJ. Think of what you’re doing to his memory. Think of what his family would think if they read your words. Think of all the people that are still living with the hurt and pain of what this man did. Just think before you write. Look at what they lost. Look at their pain before you defend this man anymore on any public forum. And watch this before you do anything http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc9Cbh_M9yQ

  20. JWS says:
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    Boy oh boy J where do I start. I doubt you will be back on this blog because you are obviously a very weak person and have no clue what you are talking about. Don’t pretend to know or understand what our family has gone through or isgoing through. Are you without a beloved family member? Did you bury a 17 year old child that= some irresponsible pathetic excuse for a human being took from you? Did you lose a family member so close to the holidays where families get together and enjoy themselves? I wish I could be as eloquent as Jessica who spoke before me but I wear it on my sleeve. And if you don’t like the things being said then don’t read because I know sometimes the truth hurts. And I think I figured out the medical condition you speak of. You know the one that caused Todd to speed without headlights and in the wrong lane!! You may have heard of it its called ALCOHOLISM (I threw those capitols in there for you J) If trying to justify Todd’s reckless actions by some bogus medical conditions is the best you can come up with that is pathetic and there is a special place in hell for you right next to Todd when he gets there. And as the girl that spoke before me said hopefully Todd will dedicate some of his remaining years which he still has by the way to do some good and prevent others from making the mistakes he did. But my hunch is that he will be looking for the first happy hour he can find because the stats don’t lie!! How dare you lash out at JJ’s family and friends you should be ashamed of yourself for that reason. I guess you will have to find someone else to pound beers and then get behind the wheel with for the next 20 years. But in the meantime if you visit Todd make sure his wrists are healing nicely because the sheriff has a nice shiny new set of bracelets for him when he recovers again which he has the opportunity to do and JJ doesn’t. Ok Im done now but if you ever want to meet in person to discuss this further it would be my pleasure just let me know and we will chat. On a lighter note we love you JJ and not a day goes by that you aren’t in our thoughts and I am sure you are on your way to a world soccer cup wherever you are in heaven!!! Love you

  21. Mike Bryant says:
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    Jessica and JWS, thank you for the touching and personal comments.

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    J you were right about one thing. We are all losers. We all lost someone close to us that we love, because of the man (and i use that term loosely) you are trying to defend. I had to explain to my 5 and 6 year old children why they can’t play with JJ anymore. imagine it was your child that won’t make it to graduation. How would you feel about the driver of the truck that took their life? We are glad you pull over to talk on your phone but that really doesn’t have much to do with what has happened. If you want to help, next time take the keys of the drunk guy next to you so this will never happen again. Allegedly. And please take time to think before you speak. disrespecting the family of a lost one will not help your friend or family member. As it was stated before, it makes you look like a fool. If you do however take JWS up on his offer to discuss this in person, I would consider it an honor to be there also. For everyone morning the loss of JJ, please don’t listen to the stupid ramblings of a selfish, disrespectful moron. JJ you are always in our hearts.

  23. Mike Bryant says:
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    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment Neil.

  24. lee bystrom says:
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    well first I would like to introduce my self my name is lee bystrom, and I am a senior at BHS just like JJ was, I was one of jons very close friends ive known him for about 9 great years and every second i spend with jon was a memory, he was more like a little brother then a friend and now after todd lifto’s huge mistake to drive under the influence of alcohol, I dont have the privilege to text or call him everyday just to say “whats up little bro”….. and to the so called “J” you dont understand at all what todd lifto has done to my life and many others, in my life he has completely flipped my life upside down. Everyday Im thinking about JJ and if I had one more time just to hangout with him and tell him how much he ment to me and what an impact he did for me to reliaze how much the value of friends really is…so because you “J” go and try to defend todd lifto’s case I want you to kno that ,what he did (todd lifo) will reflect the rest of my life knowning I dont have one of my best friends to experence the rest of life with me, next to myside…

  25. Mike Bryant says:
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    Lee, I am vary sorry to hear of your personal loss. I hope sharing your story helps you in some way. Thank you for taking the time to comment.