Police say Fairfield man drove drunk in fatal crash

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Donald Gridley - photo from Wapello County Jail

State Police said a Fairfield, Iowa man had a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit when he was involved in a crash that killed the passenger in his pickup truck.

Police said Donald Gridley, 44, was driving a 1979 Ford pickup at about 3:30 a.m. December 11, 2012 when he allegedly ran a stop sign and drove into a ditch on Compentine Road and 165th in Wapello County.

Patrick Gridley, 65, was killed in the crash.  His body was found in the pickup truck on the passenger’s side floorboard.   He was pronounced dead at a hospital in Ottumwa.

Deputies said they found Donald Gridley trying to get help at a nearby home.  He was also taken by ambulance to a hospital.

Police said test results showed Donald Gridley had a blood alcohol content of .198.  The legal limit to be declared intoxicated while driving in Iowa is .08.

Police said DNA testing helped them confirm Donald Gridley was the pickup truck driver.

Donald Gridley is charged  with homicide by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter.  Court records show he pleaded not guilty to those charges July 10, 2013.

State Police said Donald Gridley would also face charges of failure to maintain control, failure to obey a stop sign and failure to have a valid driver’s license.

Donald Gridley was released from the Wapello County jail after posting $25,000 bond.

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