(Horicon) A Beaver Dam man was found guilty Tuesday of Vehicular Homicide While Under the use of a Controlled Substance. Dustin VanderGalien entered a no contest plea to the felony charge as well as felony Injury by Use of a Vehicle While Under a Controlled Substance, and Cause Injury While Operating under a Controlled Substance. Ten additional felony counts were dismissed but read into the record.
VanderGalien was driving a Chrysler Sedan on Highway E east from State Highway 26 when he crossed the centerline and struck a Chevrolet Equinox in July of 2019. The Chrysler then hit a Ford Focus that had been traveling behind the Equinox. Twenty-two-year-old Gavin Rivas from Orfordville, who was a passenger in the Focus, died from his injuries. Multiple people required transportation to area hospitals for treatment. VanderGalien admitted to having a couple mixed drinks prior to the crash. The 36-year-old was flown to UW-Hospital where a blood draw was later taken which found alcohol in his system and a metabolite of cocaine. VanderGalien has two previous OWI convictions in 2008 and 2015.
At yesterday’s hearing, District Attorney Kurt Klomberg said a young man was lost and six others were injured due to the careless and reckless operation of a vehicle by the defendant. Klomberg adds that the crash and was preventable and that VanderGalien, a repeat drunk driver, chose to drive recklessly after consuming intoxicants. A pre-sentencing investigation was ordered and VanderGalien is due back in court on September 15th. Klomberg said he will be seeking a long term in prison.