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Iowa Department of Public Safety
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Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release: Sergeant Nathan Ludwig

Public Information Officer
Iowa State Patrol

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 nludwig@dps.state.ia.us
(515) 745-2863 - cell
(515) 725-6093 - office

Fairfield Man Arrested for 2012 Crash Resulting in Fatality

Wapello County, IOWA --- Donald Dean Gridley, age 44 from Fairfield, Iowa is now facing charges of Homicide by Vehicle, Involuntary Manslaughter, Failure to Maintain Control, Failure to Obey a Stop Sign, and Failure to Have a Valid Driver's License. 

On December 11, 2012, the Iowa State Patrol was contacted by Wapello County Sheriff’s office to assist with a fatality crash in Wapello County.  At approximately 3:30 AM, a 1979 Ford pick-up was heading north on Compentine Road.  The vehicle failed to stop at the signed intersection of Compentine Road and 165th.  The vehicle entered the north ditch of 165th and came to rest. 

The Wapello County Sheriff’s office arrived on scene and located Donald Gridley at a residence near the crash scene, trying  to get help. Law enforcement also located 65 year old Patrick Clair Gridley of Fairfield, on the floor board of the passenger side of the crashed pick-up. 

Donald and Patrick Gridley were transported to Ottumwa Regional Hospital by ambulance.  Patrick Gridley was pronounced dead at Ottumwa Regional Hospital.

Wapello County Deputies obtained a warrant for Donald Gridley’s urine.  Gridley’s urine was sent to the Division of Criminal Investigation Lab in Ankeny.  Test results indicate Donald Gridley had a blood alcohol content of .198.

The Iowa State Patrol and Wapello County Sheriff’s Office also obtained a search warrant for Gridley’s vehicle, specifically looking for DNA.  The Division of Criminal Investigation helped collect the samples and conduct testing. The DNA collected from the driver’s side of the vehicle did not match that of Patrick Gridley.

The Iowa State Patrol obtained a search warrant for Donald Gridley’s DNA.  The warrant was served and DNA was sent to Division of Criminal Investigation lab in Ankeny.  The DNA of Donald Gridley did match the DNA collected from the driver’s side of the pick-up.

The Iowa State Patrol was assisted by Wapello County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Fairfield Police Department, Wapello County Attorney’s Office, Division of Criminal Investigation, Hedrick Fire and Rescue and Ormic Ambulance Service of Ottumwa. 

It should be noted a criminal charge is merely an accusation and all suspects should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.



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