Family of DUI victim to speak

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COEUR d’ALENE — The family of a Bonner County man allegedly killed by a drunken driver are slated to speak at the kickoff of the Idaho State Police’s North Idaho DUI Task Force.

The event starts at 11 a.m. today at ISP’s offices on Wilbur Avenue.

State police said Cory Allan Kreager was eastbound on Boekel Road when he failed to stop at the road’s intersection with U.S. Highway 95 on the night of March 9. The Ford F-350 pickup truck Kreager was driving crashed broadside into a Dodge Caravan traveling on U.S. 95, according to court documents.

Ryan M. Allen, a passenger in the rear of the minivan, was ejected and died at the scene, state police said. Three other occupants of the van, driver Vern Allen, 51; passenger Patricia C. Allen, 71; and passenger Troy V. Allen, also 51, were seriously injured in the collision, according to ISP.

Kreager, a 36-year-old from Priest River, is charged with one count of vehicular manslaughter and three counts of aggravated DUI for inflicting great bodily harm on the surviving crash victims.

Kreager told state police he was distracted by his phone and did not see the stop sign guarding the U.S. 95 intersection, according to a trooper’s probable cause affidavit. Kreager’s breath-alcohol concentration was measured at 0.12, which well above the legal limit to drive of 0.08.

Kreager is free on a $150,000 surety bond. He waived a preliminary hearing in the case in Kootenai County Magistrate Court on March 28. He subsequently pleaded not guilty to the felony offenses, which clears the way for a jury trial in 1st District Court in August.

Mediation in the case is pending, according to court documents.

The Memorial Day weekend marks the start of what is known as the 100 Deadliest Days, which is statistically the most dangerous period of time on the roads. During that period, law enforcement will be on the lookout for dangerous or distracted drivers.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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