West Union man sent to prison over vehicular homicide

A West Union man is going to prison for causing causing the death of a passenger last fall when he crashed a BMW Mini Cooper while fleeing law enforcement.

Curtis Allen Williams, 38, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Chickasaw County District Court to vehicular homicide (Class B felony), attempting to elude while operating while intoxicated (Class D felony), and first-offense OWI (serious misdemeanor). He was given maximum sentences of, respectively, 25 years, 5 years and 1 year. He was ordered to pay a fine of $1,025 plus a surcharge of $187.50.

The three sentences will be served concurrently and will be eligible for parole or work release after 150 months, which is half of his sentence.

A jury trial was scheduled to begin Wednesday, March 22.

According to the criminal complaints, at about 1:15 a.m., Sept. 26, 2022 near the intersection of Highway 63 and 300th Street, a Chickasaw County Sheriff’s deputy activated his emergency lights and tried to pull over the Mini Cooper headed south after spotting a defective tail light. The car veered onto the shoulder and slowed down, but then sped up.

The deputy activated his siren and followed the car on Hwy. 63, the complaints say. Pursuit speeds reached 105 mph in a 65 mph speed zone. The Mini Cooper failed to negotiate a curve, rolled several times and came to a rest on the passenger side near the 196 exit ramp.

The passenger, a 38-year-old Decorah man, was pronounced dead at the scene because of injuries sustained.

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