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Northwood driver charged with vehicular homicide to change plea


This news story was published on December 30, 2011.
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Sarah Stultz, Albert Lea Tribune –

NORTHWOOD, Iowa — The man charged with the fatal hit-and-run of a young girl boarding a school bus in May has likely reached a plea agreement.

According to online Iowa court records, Worth County District Judge Bryan McKinley last week ordered a hearing for Aaron Dwayne Gunderson, 32, along with a pre-sentence investigation. The pre-sentence investigation is used to determine the severity of a sentence after plea agreements or guilty verdicts are reached.

The hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 6.

Gunderson faces two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident resulting in death. One of the vehicular homicide charges alleges he was intoxicated with marijuana at the time of the crash.

According to court documents, Gunderson was reportedly driving more than 60 mph on May 10 when he collided with Kadyn Halverson, 7, of rural Kensett, who was walking to board a school bus.

The bus was completely stopped and had its flashing red lights and stop arm activated.

Kadyn died at the scene; however, Gunderson reportedly fled and was arrested shortly after by authorities.

Gunderson had previously pleaded not guilty to his charges and in November motioned to have his trial moved outside of Worth County.

He had been scheduled for a jury trial Feb. 22.

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