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Odebolt man pleads not guilty to 3 counts of vehicular homicide

Odebolt man pleads not guilty to 3 counts of vehicular homicide

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IDA GROVE, Iowa -- An Odebolt, Iowa, man has pleaded not guilty to driving while intoxicated and causing a two-vehicle crash in which three people were killed.

Ryan Childers, 21, entered his written plea Friday in Ida County District Court to three counts of vehicular homicide and one count of serious injury by motor vehicle.

Childers is accused of driving while intoxicated while driving in the wrong lane and colliding with another vehicle March 16 near Holstein, Iowa.

According to the Iowa State Patrol, Childers was driving a pickup truck south in the northbound lane of U.S. Highway 59 about four miles north of Holstein at approximately 5:22 a.m. when he collided with a northbound pickup driven by Francisco Nicia Guerrero, 21, of Denison, Iowa.

Nicia Guerrero's vehicle burst into flames, and he, Felipe De La Cruz Nava, 39, and Jose Gonzalez Guerrero, 25, both of Denison, all were pronounced dead at the scene.

Childers' passenger, Quest Hack, 20, of Odebolt, suffered serious injuries, including a broken ankle, hip and pelvis. Both he and Childers were transported to a Sioux City hospital.

Numerous alcohol containers were found at the scene, and a blood specimen taken from Childers about four hours after the crash showed his blood alcohol content was 0.074 percent, just under the legal limit of 0.08 percent. The state crime lab determined that his blood alcohol content at the time of the crash would have been between 0.114 percent and 0.174 percent, court documents said.

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Investigators believe the car was traveling south when it left the roadway and struck a pole on the east side of the street. The cause of the accident and contributing factors are still under investigation.

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