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Laurel crash

Emergency responders work at the scene of a fatal wreck on Highway 212 on the bridge south of Laurel in December. One man died in the crash.

A Bridger man accused of causing the highway wreck that killed a 71-year-old Billings man in 2015 received a deferred prosecution.

Samuel Andrew Rettig, 35, was originally charged with negligent homicide in the head-on collision that killed Kent Homer Morgan on Dec. 28, 2015.

Prosecutors say Rettig drove recklessly on Highway 310 south of Laurel, following another vehicle too closely and crossing into the oncoming lane of traffic while attempting to pass, striking Morgan’s vehicle. Rettig’s car twice hit the pickup he was following before he tried to pass it, according to a plea deal on related charges.

The wreck left two women and a 2-month-old boy in critical condition, according to charges. 

Rettig received a six-year deferred prosecution on the negligent homicide charge on Aug. 9. District Court Judge Donald Harris dismissed the charge and closed the case the next day. 

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On Aug. 8, Justice of the Peace Jeanne Walker sentenced Rettig on two related misdemeanors in Yellowstone County Justice Court.

Prosecutors said Rettig's driving put other motorists and the six passengers in Morgan’s car at risk. They originally charged him with two counts of criminal endangerment, a felony, but reduced those to negligent endangerment, a misdemeanor. 

On the misdemeanors, Rettig was sentenced to 100 days in jail, or 49 days of sheriff’s labor detail. A plea deal calls for Rettig to complete 40 days of anger management and a defensive driving course. 

Rettig must self-surrender at 7 p.m. on Aug. 24 for two days and serve an additional 49 days in the work program.

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