Fairfield man charged with vehicular homicide
Wapello County Sheriff Mark Miller said today Donald Dean Gridley, 44, of Fairfield, bonded out early Wednesday on charges of vehicular homicide, a Class B felony and involuntary manslaughter.
“He may have had an arraignment today,” said Miller. “He’s out of our hands at this point. The usual legal process will go forward.”
A check of Iowa Courts online has nothing about Gridley.
He also is charged with failure to maintain control, failure to obey a stop sign and failure to have a valid driver’s license. All five charges stem from an accident Dec. 11, 2012, in northeastern Wapello County.
DNA testing of the driver’s wheel after the accident matched Gridley’s DNA.
His father, Patrick C. Gridley, 65, of Fairfield, was a passenger and died from injuries in the Dec. 11 accident.
According to the Iowa State Patrol report, Donald Dean Gridley was driving a 1979 Ford pickup north on Compentine Road and failed to stop at a stop sign at the “T” intersection of Compentine Road and 165th Street. The vehicle entered the north ditch, striking a post at 3:27 a.m. Dec. 11.
The report states Patrick Gridley was transported by ambulance to Ottumwa Regional Health Center in Ottumwa and pronounced dead at the hospital.
Donald Gridley was transported by aircare to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City with possible injuries.
The Iowa State Patrol report states neither man was using a seatbelt; neither man was ejected or trapped in the pickup; and the front of the pickup sustained disabling damage, estimated at $1,000.
According to the state patrol report, a urine test for alcohol was given to Donald Gridley; no drug test was given. The report listed the driver’s condition as “under the influence of alcohol/drugs/medications.”
When Wapello County Sheriff’s officers arrived on the scene Dec. 11, they located Donald Gridley at a residence near the crash scene, trying to get help.
His father was located on the floorboard of the passenger’s side of the vehicle.
According to a news report today from the Associated Press, authorities say tests show Donald Gridley was intoxicated and driving. AP says Iowa State Patrol says the 44-year-old's blood alcohol content was above the legal limit during the Dec. 11 crash.