ST. CLOUD -- A Rice man who was charged in a drunk driving crash that killed a Kimball man has pleaded guilty.

A jury trial scheduled for next month has been canceled after 58-year-old Ricky Freitag pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide involving alcohol.

According to the charges, Freitag had been drinking beer with dinner prior to the crash in February 2020. About an hour later, he was driving north on Highway 15 and lost control on the icy roadway. His pickup collided with a car driven by 67-year-old Donald Heid.

Court records show Freitag told responding troopers that he met a friend for dinner in Forest City and had two or three bottles of beer. While driving home, Freitag said he was driving the speed limit when he hit a patch of ice and lost control. The pickup struck the driver's side door of Heid's car, killing him.

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Records show a blood draw nearly two hours later showed Freitag's blood-alcohol level was 0.101. A crash reconstruction specialist with the Minnesota State Patrol determined Freitag's speed was excessive considering the blowing snow and ice-covered roadway and that he was driving under the influence.

Freitag will be sentenced in October.

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