The driver of a vehicle involved in the traffic deaths of three Denison men on March 16 is facing felony charges.

According to online court records, three counts of homicide by vehicle – operating under the influence and one count of serious injury by vehicle were filed by the Iowa State Patrol (ISP) on June 26 against Ryan Daniel Childers, 21, of Odebolt.

The charges were filed in Ida County.

An arrest warrant was served on Childers on Monday, July 1. He was released Tuesday after $500 bail (10 percent cash bond) was posted.

A preliminary hearing for Childers has been set for 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 18.

Following are the details of the ISP’s investigation into the accident, according to the criminal complaint filed against Childers in district court.

Early on Saturday, March 16, Francisco Joel Nicia Guerrero, 21, of Denison, was driving a white 2007 Isuzu I-290 north on Highway 59 in Ida County. Felipe De La Cruz Nava, 39, was a passenger in the front seat and Jose Danilo Gonzalez Guerrero, 25, was a passenger in the rear seat. The passengers were also from Denison.

Childers was driving a 2006 GMC Sierra HD south on Highway 59 with Quest Dwane Hack, 20, of Battle Creek, as a passenger.

At 5:22 a.m., Childers’s GMC collided head-on with Nicia Guerrero’s Isuzu in the northbound lane/shoulder of Highway 59 about one-half mile south of 110th Street (about three miles north of Holstein).

Childers was traveling on the wrong side of the road and his GMC was traveling at approximately 71 miles per hour immediately prior to the collision.

After the collision, the vehicles came to rest on the east side of the highway and the Isuzu was immediately fully engulfed in flames with the occupants inside. The three Denison men were killed at the scene.

Childers and Hack were injured. Hack sustained serious injuries in the collision including, but not limited to, a broken ankle, hip and pelvis, and he was hospitalized for several days.

The criminal complaint listed the following other factors determined by the ISP’s investigation.

- Numerous alcohol containers were found at the scene and in Childers’s vehicle.

- EMTs that treated the Childers stated that he told them that he had consumed eight or nine beers.

- Childers smelled heavily of alcohol.

- A blood specimen, collected pursuant to a search warrant from Childers approximately four hours after the collision, was analyzed by the Division of Criminal Investigation crime lab; it indicated Childers’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.074% at that time.

- Retrograde extrapolation performed by the lab determined that Childers’s blood alcohol concentration at the time of the collision was between 0.114% and 0.174%.

- Background information disclosed that Childers purchased alcoholic beverages at approximately 5 p.m. on March 15 in Ida Grove and again at approximately 12:30 a.m. March 16 in Cherokee. The alcohol purchased in Cherokee was then given to Hack and a juvenile female and was consumed by those individuals as they drove around rural Cherokee County “booze cruising” from approximately 12:30 a.m. until shortly before 5 a.m. on March 16.

- Video and photographs of the vehicle occupants consuming alcohol during this time was recovered.

- The intoxicated driving by Childers unintentionally caused the collision which resulted in the deaths and serious injuries of the victims.

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