WILLMAR -- A 45-year-old Raymond woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to two felony charges of criminal vehicular homicide or operation stemming from a Nov. 20, 2010, crash south of Litchfield that claimed the lives of two people.
Ronda Malvin tearfully admitted that she was driving a vehicle on State Highway 22, attempted to brake during icy road conditions and lost control, causing the vehicle to enter the oncoming lane of traffic and setting off a three-car collision. Two passengers in her vehicle, Kimberly Mead, 44, of Willmar, and Barbara Wold, 55, of Spicer, died as result of injuries suffered in the crash.
"I didn't realize I was driving on black ice," Malvin said during the hearing, recounting that Mead was a close friend and Wold was her cousin.
Mead was dead at the scene and Wold died two days later from her injuries.
Malvin also admitted that she had used drugs two days before the crash and that urine testing showed both amphetamine and methamphetamine in her system.
As part of a plea agreement entered in Meeker County District Court, eight additional criminal vehicular homicide or operation charges, six felony and two gross misdemeanor, will be dismissed. She will receive less severe sentence than recommended by guidelines -- a downward departure -- serving 180 days of jail time, with additional jail time deferred if she complies with probation requirements. The maximum penalty on the charges is 10 years in jail and/or a $20,000 fine. The guideline sentence in this case is 68 months in prison.
No sentencing date was set before District Judge Donald M. Spilseth, who ordered a pre-sentence investigation and a chemical use assessment.
Two other passengers in Malvin's vehicle, the driver of the oncoming vehicle and both the driver and passenger of the third vehicle were all injured in the crash. The driver of a fourth vehicle was not hurt, but drove off the roadway to avoid the collision.