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Drunken driver to get 25-year sentence for fatal crash

The 2019 crash near Holstein killed three Denison residents

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A 22-year-old Odebolt man is set to plead guilty Monday to three felonies for a drunken 2019 crash that killed three Denison residents, according to court records.

Ryan Daniel Childers faces three homicide by vehicle charges — each of which are punishable by up to 25 years in prison — for the crash, which happened March 16, 2019, on U.S. Highway 59 about three miles north of Holstein in Ida County. 

Here’s what happened, according to court records:

Childers had been “booze cruising” in his pickup truck for more than four hours with two passengers as they consumed alcohol overnight, and about 5:20 a.m. he was southbound on the highway and passed a vehicle but remained in the northbound lane as the truck crested a hill.

The truck struck a smaller, northbound pickup truck head-on, which caused the smaller truck to catch fire.

Investigators later retrieved three badly burned bodies from the truck. It was unclear in court documents whether they died from the impact of the crash or from the fire.

They were identified as:

— Felipe De La Cruz Nava, 39

— Francisco Joel Nicia Guerrero, 21

— Jose Danilo Gonzalez Guerrero, 25

Beer cans were strewn about the roadway and inside Childers’ truck. An analysis of Childers’ blood determined that his blood-alcohol concentration was between .114 and .174 percent at the time of the crash. The legal limit to drive is .08 percent.

Childers and a passenger in his truck suffered unspecified injuries.

Childers agreed to plead guilty to the three felony charges with the expectation that he will serve the prison sentences concurrently, which will result in a sentence of up to 25 years, according to a plea agreement he signed. If imposed consecutively the total prison sentence would be up to 75 years.

Prosecutors also agreed to dismiss two lesser charges as part of the agreement.

A court hearing to verbally take Childers’ guilty pleas and to sentence him is set for 9:30 a.m. Monday in Denison.

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