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No alcohol involved in fatal crash, prosecutor says

MURDO -- A man who was charged with drunken driving did not have alcohol in his system during a crash he was involved in that killed a motorcyclist. But he has since been charged with reckless driving.

MURDO - A man who was charged with drunken driving did not have alcohol in his system during a crash he was involved in that killed a motorcyclist. But he has since been charged with reckless driving.

Randall Miiller, 56, of Mount Vernon, was charged with DUI and careless driving on Aug. 2 after his GMC Sierra collided with a motorcycle about 13 miles west of Murdo. The driver of the motorcycle, Rhonda Denato, 49, of Ottuwma, Iowa, was killed.

Jones County State's Attorney Anita Fuoss said Miiller requested a continuance until various drug and alcohol tests could be completed, and Fuoss said those results came back negative.

"There was no alcohol involved in this one," Fuoss said.

Miiller was first charged with DUI because a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper who responded to the crash said Miiller was "slurring his words and had glassy and constricted pupils," according to court documents. Miiller was arrested based on these observations and his performance on field sobriety tests.

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While the DUI charge has not yet been dropped, Miiler was charged on Nov. 19 with reckless driving, a class 1 misdemeanor punishable upon conviction by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine, because he drove "without due caution and circumspection" and endangered another person, court documents state.

Although there was no alcohol involved, Fuoss still called this a "serious incident" and expressed remorse for Denato and her family.

"It was a terrible crash, and we are very sympathetic to the family of the woman who lost her life as well as the several other individuals who witnessed it and were traumatized as a result," Fuoss said.

Miiller was involved in another crash in Mitchell in September. He allegedly failed to stop at an intersection and collided with a vehicle driven by John Bruce, who sustained minor injuries.

Miiller is scheduled to make his first appearance in court in February in Jones County for the reckless driving charge.

Related Topics: CRASHES
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