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Tudahl sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison

Steven Tudahl, 26, Woodville, was sentenced to six and one-half years in

prison last Tuesday in a tear-filled courtroom.

Tudahl was convicted of felony homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, negligent driving causing great bodily harm and misdemeanor reckless driving. He will also serve seven years extended supervision.

He was charged following a March 27, accident in the Town of Cylon that

killed the passenger in Tudahl's car and paralyzed a young boy.

The criminal complaint states that Tudahl's Ford Explorer crossed the center line at the intersection of Highway 63 and County Road S, striking a Buick driven by Amy Dwyer. Tudahl did not have a valid license at the time.

The passenger in Tudahl's vehicle, his fiancée Larissa Dawn Christensen, 27, Glenwood City, was thrown from the SUV into the ditch. She died at the scene.

In the Buick, Noah Dwyer, 5, suffered a severed spine and is permanently paralyzed. Jaydin Dwyer, 3, suffered a broken leg and bruises to her face. She has scars from the accident months later.

Tudahl suffered rib fractures, a punctured lung, bleeding in his chest cavity, head trauma and back pain.

The complaint said a tow truck driver heard a man yelling from the Ford Explorer in the ditch but when deputies got to the vehicle there was no one inside. A sheriff's dog tracked Tudahl from the crash site and he was apprehended among the buildings at Precision Agriculture.

According to court records, Tudahl's blood alcohol concentration was 0.04 percent, which is under the 0.08 legal limit.

For the first count of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, Tudahl will serve five years in state prison, and be under extended supervision for another five years. For the second felony of negligent operation of a vehicle causing great bodily harm, he was sentenced to one year, six months in prison, with extended supervision for two years. He'll serve probation for one year for the misdemeanor of reckless driving causing bodily harm. He will be required to perform eight hours of community service on the anniversary of the accident while on probation.

Sentences will be served concurrently, with credit for the 107 days he's already served.

For a complete story, see this week's New Richmond News.