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FD man charged with vehicular homicide

Crash that ended two lives was caused by substance abuse, officials allege

June 7, 2013
By PETER KASPARI, pkaspari@messengernews.net , Messenger News

Almost six months after two people were killed in a traffic accident, the man investigators say caused the collision has been charged in the case.

Austin W. Brown, 20, of Fort Dodge, is facing two charges of vehicular homicide by OWI, which is a Class B felony.

On Dec. 21, 2012, Brown was driving his 2002 GMC pickup on Nelson Avenue, just south of John F. Kennedy Memorial Park. The criminal complaint filed with the Webster County attorney's office stated Brown was "under the influence of alcohol or drugs or a combination of such substances."

Around 6:41 p.m., investigators with the Iowa State Patrol said Brown's pickup crashed head-on into a 2002 Ford station wagon, which was driven by Joseph Reigelsberger, 23, of Rolfe.

Reigelsberger and one of his passengers, Debra Lundt, 57, of Pocahontas, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Another passenger, Anastashia Lundt, 23, was injured in the accident.

Brown was charged with the case Friday, and made his initial appearance that morning in Webster County Magistrate Court.

First Assistant County Attorney Cori Kuhn Coleman asked for Brown to be held on bond, citing previous convictions including possession of a controlled substance and driving under revocation.

"He is not only a danger to the community, but he is also a danger to himself," Coleman said.

Brown's attorney, Joseph McCarville, of Fort Dodge, asked that his client be released with supervision to the Department of Adult Corrections.

"He has been addressing the substance abuse issue by attending treatment," McCarville said. "He has been aware of these charges and has always been around."

Magistrate Steve Kersten allowed Brown to be released with supervision, but on the condition that Brown keeps up with his treatment.

"Any fault or failure of treatment on your part means you'll be coming back here," Kersten told Brown.

The case was sent to District Court, where a preliminary hearing will be scheduled.

 
 

 

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