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Preston, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Hastings man has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years on probation for his conviction on charges stemming from a fatal traffic crash in Fillmore County in 2021.

41-year-old Joseph Perry recently entered into a plea agreement and admitted to a gross misdemeanor drug possession charge and a misdemeanor count of driving after suspension. A number of other charges, including a felony drug charge, and misdemeanor counts of open bottle, careless driving, marijuana possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia were dismissed.

Fillmore County Sheriff's Office photo
Fillmore County Sheriff's Office photo
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Court documents say Perry was behind the wheel of a pickup that crashed into a horse-drawn buggy operated by 15-year-old Henry Hershberger on a rural road near Preston, causing the Amish teenager to suffer fatal injuries. Following the deadly collision, Perry told a deputy the sun was in his eyes and he did not see the buggy until it was too late to swerve around it. The investigation determined Perry was driving at just over 50 mph and did not apply his brakes.

Joseph Perry criminal complaint - Fillmore County Court
Joseph Perry criminal complaint - Fillmore County Court
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The criminal complaint says Perry had two children in the rear seat of his pickup when the fatal crash occurred. Investigators later found a small amount of marijuana and marijuana wax in the pickup.

His plea deal with the Fillmore County Attorney's Office also included a provision requiring Perry to write a letter expressing his condolences to the Hershberger family, but he would not be expected to acknowledge any liability for causing the fatal collision.

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