The case against a 32-year-old Hastings man accused of causing the deaths of two teenagers killed in a Dec. 12, 2021, crash at 12th Street and Blaine Avenue has been sent to the Adams County District Court.

Anthony Pingel of 3239 Wendell Drive waived his right to a preliminary hearing in a written waiver filed Tuesday in Adams County Court.

Adams County Judge Michael Burns bound over the case to the district court. A date for an arraignment in the district court hasn’t yet been set.

Pingel faces two counts of motor vehicle homicide while driving under the influence of alcohol, a Class 2A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Pingel is accused of unintentionally killing Victoria Fleming, 16, of Superior and Tristen Owens, 18, of Hastings.

The identification of the teenagers was delayed because the vehicle in which they were located was fully engulfed in fire when emergency personnel arrived about 12:30 a.m. The Adams County Sheriff’s Office identified Fleming using dental records. Similar records for the second victim were inconclusive.

Owens’ identity was announced through the funeral home, and he is listed as the second victim in court records.

Court records show Fleming and Owens were passengers in a black 1997 Dodge Ram pickup traveling eastbound on 12th Street when it collided with a 2015 silver Jeep Grand Cherokee going northbound on Blaine Avenue. The crash caused the Ram to enter the northeast ditch with extensive front end damage and land on its passenger side.

There were four people in the pickup. The two people injured in the Ram were taken to Mary Lanning Healthcare for treatment.

Deputies at the scene determined the Jeep, registered to Pingel, had violated the stop sign for northbound traffic on Blaine Avenue. The driver of the pickup and several employees from the nearby AGP plant who responded to the scene told deputies Pingel was “walking near or away from his damaged Jeep shortly after the accident.”

No one else at the scene is believed to have been associated with Pingel’s vehicle.

Deputies who contacted Pingel noticed the odor of alcohol coming from him, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. Pingel failed to answer questions correctly. An officer observed Pingel to be “very clumsy” and said he “was having trouble trying to walk” to the medical service unit. Once inside, Pingel stumbled around until lying down on a stretcher.

Pingel was taken to Mary Lanning Healthcare, and a deputy followed the ambulance. At the hospital, the deputy read him the Post Arrest Chemical Test Advisement Form. When asked if he understood what was being read to him, Pingel allegedly refused to have his blood drawn.

Deputies also obtained a search warrant to obtain a legal blood draw from Pingel, but he didn’t consent to the blood being drawn.

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