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Alcohol ruled out in fiery fatal crash

Alcohol was not a factor in a fiery, head-on crash that killed two people late last month south of Mitchell, according to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

It’s still unknown why one driver swerved into the other, and the investigation is ongoing. No final report on the crash has been filed.

Sara Claggett  Blood-alcohol tests performed on the two drivers killed in the crash — 23-year-old Sara Ann Claggett, of Tripp, and 82-year-old Donald Geidel, of Dimock — indicated neither had alcohol in their system when the crash occurred.

Don Geidel  The crash happened shortly before 4:30 p.m. Sept. 25 on state Highway 37, about five miles south of Mitchell, when a southbound minivan driven by Claggett drifted into oncoming traffic and collided with a northbound pickup driven Geidel.

Claggett’s daughter, 2-year-old Lauryn Rene Claggett, was pulled from her car seat by 19-year-old Brandon Sandoz, a Mitchell Technical Institute student from Valentine, Neb., only moments before the minivan burst into flames.

The 2-year-old was transported from the scene to Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell and was later taken to a hospital in Sioux Falls.

John Claggett, Sara Claggett’s uncle, said Tuesday that Lauryn Claggett has a broken pelvis, leg and arm.