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Two Harbors man pleads guilty to Esko hit-and-run

When Esko resident Parrish Silbernagel, 45, prepared for 6th Judicial District Court in Carlton County on Wednesday, Nov. 28, he was expecting a long day of listening to witnesses and testimony during the contested omnibus in the afternoon.

He was surprised to find out the morning of the hearing that Joseph Migliaccio, 29, of Two Harbors had changed his mind and was going to plead guilty to felony vehicular operation with substantial bodily harm and driver who causes an accident and leaves the scene.

On Sept. 21, 2017, Silbernagel was driving north on Juntunen Road in Carlton County and was slowing for his turn onto Stillmeadow Road, one block from Minnesota Highway 61 in downtown Esko when he was hit from behind by Migliaccio's car.

Silbernagel was driving an 800-pound 2014 Harley Davidson Street Glide Special motorcycle with LED lights and red brake and tail lights.

Silbernagel was also wearing a reflective jacket when he was hit.

The impact shattered the motorcycle and parts were scattered on both sides of the road for over 100 yards.

Silbernagel's head hit Migliaccios' windshield and broke it.

"I had seven fractures to my face, my nose and upper jaw. Both eye sockets were fractured and my skull was fractured," Silbernagel said. "I had three brain bleeds, two fractures to my neck, a bruised spinal cord, three broken ribs and my right elbow was broken."

Migliaccio continued to drive a half-mile up the road where he parked in a driveway, according to the statement of probable cause. Officers followed the trail of fluid from his car to find him and arrest him.

Silbernagel was told later that Migliaccio called 911 after he stopped the car.

In court, Migliaccio's attorney, Andrew Tiegs Poole, said his client voluntarily began seeing a psychiatrist and taking prescribed medication after the crash. He noted that Migliaccio was previously in a mental hospital.

"This was a strange case," Assistant Carlton County Attorney Michael Boese said. "He hit a motorcycle and ran right through. No chemicals showed up in his system."

Silbernagel said he was relieved when he heard Migliaccio was pleading guilty.

Judge Robert Macaulay Jr. ordered a chemical dependency evaluation before the sentencing 1:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Carlton County Courthouse.