Drunk driver faces possible vehicular homicide charges

A Sioux Falls motorcyclist faces possible vehicular homicide charges following the death of his wife during a single-vehicle alcohol-related crash last Sunday near the Iowa border.

According to members of the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Department, who returned to the site of the crash on Monday afternoon to reconstruct the accident, the man was headed west on 268th Street toward 481st Avenue near Iowa’s Gitchie Manitou State Park when he rounded a bend too sharply and lost control of the motorcycle.

Both the man and his wife were thrown from the motorcycle. Deputies report that both were responsive when officers arrived at the scene around 7 p.m., but that the woman passed out soon after. She died later that evening at Avera McKennan Hospital.

Police have not released the man’s blood-alcohol level but it is known that alcohol was involved in the crash. Deputy State’s Attorney Randy Sample says the investigation is still ongoing to determine if the driver will be charged with vehicular homicide.

“Normally, for vehicular homicide, you need two things: You need to be intoxicated, and you need to be involved in a negligent act,” Sample said.

Neither rider was wearing a helmet. The driver remains hospitalized at Avera McKennan Hospital with serious injuries.

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