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Dispatch received complaint of erratic driver before fatal crash

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The Mitchell dispatch center received a traffic complaint about a minivan driving erratically on state Highway 37 about three minutes before a Wednesday double-fatal crash occurred, a dispatcher confirmed Thursday.

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The dispatcher did not know for certain if the van that was the subject of the complaint was the same van in the crash, but both were described as a white minivan. The complaint to dispatch indicated the driver of a white minivan was driving erratically in a location just south of Mitchell. The crash occurred about five miles south of Mitchell.

After the crash, the state Department of Public Safety said a southbound minivan driven by 23-yearold Sara Ann Claggett, of Tripp, had drifted into oncoming traffic and collided with a northbound pickup driven by 82-year-old Donald Geidel, of Dimock. Both died, but Claggett’s 2-year-old daughter, Lauryn Rene Claggett, survived with life-threatening injuries. She was said to be in stable condition Thursday at a Sioux Falls hospital.

Claggett’s past included some recent trouble with the law. In March, she pleaded guilty to a felony drug charge as a result of a police search in which a pipe with traces of methamphetamine on it was found at an apartment in Mount Vernon, where she and her then-boyfriend were living at the time. She was sentenced to two years on probation and 90 days in jail.

Claggett was arrested for drunken driving in August 2005, but the charge was later dismissed.

Her record also shows Claggett was twice convicted of petty theft, once in 2008 and again in 2011.

She has been ticketed three times for speeding in South Dakota, most recently in August 2011.

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