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Hutterite colony in South Dakota settles in fatal crash

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A Hutterite colony in South Dakota accused of fostering behavior that led to the death of a teenage girl in a motor vehicle accident has settled a lawsuit brought by the girl's family.

The Argus Leader reports the settlement by the Deerfield Hutterian Brethren Colony near Ipswich comes right before an Aug. 14 trial. The colony was accused of negligence and recklessness by ignoring unlicensed youths driving on public roadways outside the colony, while allowing access to alcohol.

Those actions were factors in the death of 15-year-old Vannah Decker. She died in February 2014 after riding in a colony-owned vehicle driven by 17-year-old Janos Stahl. Stahl was charged with second-degree manslaughter and served a year in jail.

An attorney for Vannah's father says the family hopes Vannah's death brings needed changes.

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