Man sentenced to 10 years for fatal accident

Saturday, July 17th 2004, 11:49 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ A man who admitted passing out behind the wheel of a car after inhaling keyboard cleanser has received a 10-year prison term for causing the death of a Perkins woman.

Payne County District Judge Donald Worthington on Thursday sentenced Dustin Dane Triplitt, who entered a guilty plea in May to first-degree manslaughter in the July 2002 death of Judy Kendrick.

In entering a ``blind plea,'' Triplitt didn't reach a plea agreement with prosecutors beforehand.

Assistant District Attorney Kathy Thomas and defense attorney Cheryl Ramsey agreed on a 20-year sentence, with the last 10 years suspended.

The 25-year-old Stillwater man's BMW drove over a median, crossed two lanes and went airborne before striking Kendrick's sport utility vehicle as it sat at a stoplight. The impact rolled the SUV onto its passenger side.

Kendrick was flown by helicopter to a Tulsa hospital, where she died two weeks later.

Passengers in Triplitt's car said he passed out after inhaling the cleaner.

Ramsey listed the treatment programs Triplitt has completed since the crash and said he never hesitated to seek help when he needed it.

``He is and has always been prepared to take full responsibility for his actions,'' she said.