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Fairfield Man Accused of Vehicular Homicide

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FAIRFIELD, Iowa - A Fairfield man has been accused of vehicular homicide and other charges in connection with a 2012 fatal crash in Wapello.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety announced that Donald D. Gridley, 44, faces charges of vehicular homicide, involuntary manslaughter, failure to maintain control, failure to obey a stop sign and failure to have a valid driver's license.

On Dec. 11, 2012, the Iowa State Patrol assisted the Wapello County Sheriff's Office in investigating a fatal crash there. Police said that at 3:30 a.m. that day, a 1979 Ford pickup heading north on Competine Road failed to stop at the intersection of Compentine and 165th Street. The truck, which authorities now say was driven by Gridley, came to rest in the ditch.

Deputies arrived on the scene and located Gridley trying to get help at a home near the crash. Patrick C. Gridley, 65, of Fairfield, was found on the passenger side floor board of the crashed truck.

Both men were taken to Ottumwa Regional Hospital by ambulance. Patrick Gridley was pronounced dead at the hospital, authorities said.

After obtaining a warrant for Donald Gridley's urine, a sample was sent to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Lab in Ankeny. Police said a test of showed Donald Gridley had a blood-alcohol content of .198 percent, more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent to legally operate a vehicle in Iowa.

Police said the truck was searched for DNA and DCI investigators found DNA collected from the driver's side of the vehicle matched Donald Gridley's.

Online court records show Gridley was charged with involuntary manslaughter and drunken driving in 1991. Records show he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter and drunken driving and was sentenced to two years in prison.

Other convictions in his criminal history include assault causing bodily injury in 2005 and second-offense drunken driving in 2006.

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