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Man admits hitting, killing construction worker in Billings while driving high on Dust-Off

Man admits hitting, killing construction worker in Billings while driving high on Dust-Off

A 28-year-old man has admitted to driving into an I-90 construction zone and killing a worker in October.

Prosecutors plan to ask for the maximum prison term.

Ethan James Anderson pleaded guilty in Yellowstone County District Court on Tuesday to vehicular homicide while under the influence and two counts of criminal endangerment. The charges carry a maximum possible penalty of 50 years in prison.

Anderson struck and killed 52-year-old Jeffrey Dyekman on Oct. 24, 2018.

Dyekman was working at a construction site on an I-90 off-ramp at South Billings Boulevard when Anderson, driving a flatbed company truck, drove into him, pinning him between Anderson’s truck and another.

Anderson told investigators he was on his way back from Laurel at the time of the crash and believed he passed out at the wheel.

Anderson had huffed difluoroethane, commonly found in Dust-Off, prosecutors said.

The criminal endangerment charges were filed on behalf of other construction workers on site who were put at risk by Anderson’s driving. Prosecutors originally filed two counts, added an additional four in February, and then reverted back to the original two in an amended filing July 1.

Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Victoria Callender said the amended filing was not a part of formal plea negotiations, because there is no plea deal in the case. However, dropping the added counts helped secure Anderson’s guilty pleas, she said.

Callender said she would recommend a 50-year prison sentence. No defense recommendation has been filed.


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