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Verndale man facing two felony counts after vehicle hits electrical pole

William Gene Skarka of Verndale faces two counts, one felony charge of first degree damage to property, and one misdemeanor DWI after hitting an electrical pole on April 29.

According to court records, at approximately 12:19 a.m., Wadena County Sheriff's office was informed by Menahga First Responders of a vehicle that had gone into the ditch and hit an electrical pole.

An adult male, identified as Skarka, 62, was observed by officers walking along the side of the road. They stopped and asked him if the vehicle in the ditch was his.

Skarka stated that the vehicle was his and he had swerved to avoid hitting a deer.

A strong smell of alcohol was present and he was having trouble balancing, said court documents.

He was not injured from the crash.

The electrical pole was snapped off at ground level, and the front of the vehicle had collided dead center with the pole.

Court records state that Skarka failed all field sobriety tests given and said himself that he had, "more to drink than [he] should have and should not have been driving." Skarka agreed to a PBT which failed in a result four times. His breath sample was then taken at Wadena County jail with a result of .16 blood alcohol content.

Todd/Wadena Electric responded to fix the pole which cost $1,060 to replace. Skarka's first appearance is scheduled for June 25.