GAYLORD (AP) -- A man charged in a highway crash that killed a couple on a motorcycle in Sibley County has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, while felony counts have been dropped.

The county attorney cited the coronavirus pandemic as one factor in a decision against pursuing a trial on charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminal vehicular homicide.

Curtis Petzel, of Arlington, was pulling a farm trailer that broke free from a tractor hitch on Highway 19 near Belle Plaine in June of 2019.

The trailer struck and killed 60-year-old Marvin Fandrich and his 61-year-old wife, Kathy Fandrich, who lived in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

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