Sheldon, Iowa — A Sheldon man who was involved in a fatal ATV wreck in 2016 and is facing felony charges in connection with the crash — has now agreed to change his plea to “guilty” as part of a plea agreement.
Had 27-year-old Garrett Crowl not decided to change his plea, his trial was to have started today (Tuesday, October 9th). His original “not guilty” plea was submitted on February 8th, 2018. Three previous dates had been set for the trial — one in April, one in June, and one in August, before the October date.
According to court documents, Crowl is charged with two counts of homicide by vehicle. The first count is vehicular homicide related to alleged operating while intoxicated, and according to Iowa Code, is a class B felony. The other count is vehicular homicide related to alleged reckless driving, which the code says is a class C felony. Iowa Code says class B felonies carry a mandatory 25-year prison term. Class C felonies carry a penalty of ten years in prison and a fine of between a thousand and ten thousand dollars.
The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 6:50 PM on Saturday evening, July 30, 2016, they received a 911 call of a report of a 4-wheeler accident at the farm located at 3066 McKinley Avenue.
At the time, witnesses reported seeing the ATV traveling at a fairly high rate of speed when it entered a curve in the road, and Crowl lost control on the gravel and slid sideways. It appeared the 4-wheeler then rolled sideways and struck a tree, according to witnesses.
Crowl and his passenger on the ATV, 25-year-old Shaleah Donavon of Sheldon, both sustained serious injuries and were both taken to Sanford Sheldon Hospital. Donavon died at the hospital and Crowl was taken to a Sioux Falls hospital by helicopter.
Court records indicate that Crowl admitted to law enforcement that he had smoked marijuana before the crash. The records say a test of his urine indicated the presence of THC, the principal psychoactive constituent of marijuana.
District Judge Nancy Whittenburg has set Monday, October 22nd as the date for the court to accept the plea and sentence Crowl at the O’Brien County Courthouse in Primghar.