Lake Preston man was on drugs when he struck, killed couple in September crash near Freeman, charges say

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Nov. 25—OLIVET — A Lake Preston man was charged Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, after authorities say he was under the influence of drugs at the time of a crash that killed two in September.

Jacob Langland, 29, of Lake Preston was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of second-degree manslaughter and one count of ingestion of a controlled substance in connection with the crash.

Crash information released by the South Dakota Department of Public Safety indicates that on Sept. 11, 2021, Langland, was driving a pickup truck with an empty horse trailer northbound on U.S. Highway 81 near Freeman.

While attempting to pass a semi, Langland entered the southbound lane struck and allegedly struck a southbound vehicle head-on.

Over a week after being airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital, 75-year-old Albert and 74-year-old Marilyn Wingate, a husband and wife couple from Norfolk, Nebraska, both died from injuries sustained in the accident. Both were wearing seatbelts.

Langland suffered serious, non-life threatening injuries. His seatbelt use is uncertain.

Criminal charges filed Nov. 22 allege that Langland was under the influence of methamphetamine when he struck the Nebraska couple.

South Dakota law requires the prosecution to establish a driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of a crash that results in fatalities. If prosecutors cannot establish that Langland was in an altered state, they will further pursue second-degree manslaughter charges, which only require proof of recklessness.

Vehicular homicide is a Class 3 felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine for each count. Second-degree manslaughter is a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine for each count.

Langland was convicted of his first DUI in May 2010 — a case that saw a vehicular battery charge dismissed. A 60 day jail sentence was suspended, but his license was revoked for 201 days. He pleaded a second DUI charge in Nov. 2011 down to reckless driving, for which he had a 15 day jail sentence suspended, too.

As of Wednesday afternoon, an arrest warrant was still active for Langland out of Hutchinson County.

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