(Horicon) A Beaver Dam man guilty of Vehicular Homicide While Under the use of a Controlled Substance was sentenced to 21-and-a-half years in prison yesterday (Wednesday). In June, 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 also placed on extended supervision for 19 years.
In July of 2019, VanderGalien was driving a Chrysler Sedan on Highway E east from State Highway 26 when he crossed the centerline and struck a Chevrolet Equinox. The Chrysler then hit a Ford Focus that had been travelling 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 37-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 sentencing, District Attorney Kurt Klomberg said the defendant did not just engage in a failed passing maneuver. He had the sun to his rear, no obstructions in his view, and the visibility on a flat, straight stretch of highway. Klomberg said VanderGalien had to see the vehicles coming yet remained in their lane for nearly the lengths of two football fields. He said VanderGalien’s behavior was reckless and showed utter disregard for human life.