Le Mars man pleads guilty in fatal 2019 drunken driving case

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A northwestern Iowa man has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in the drunken driving death last year of his cousin.

The Sioux City Journal reports that Darrick Toel, 39, of Le Mars, pleaded guilty Thursday to vehicular homicide while driving recklessly and to operating while intoxicated.

In exchange, a more serious charge of vehicular homicide while driving intoxicated was dropped.

Under the deal, Toel also agreed to an 11-year prison term.

Authorities estimated Toel was traveling 90 mph on July 1 when he lost control of his car and struck a tree.

Toel’s passenger, Ryan Toel, 37, of Struble, died two days later from his injuries.

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