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As part of a plea agreement, a 27-year-old Doon man has pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle due to reckless driving in connection with the death of a bicyclist near Hull last year.

Seth Thomas De Jong is accused of striking 69-year-old Lorna Rae Moss of Sioux Center with a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan he was driving north about 5:55 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, as she was riding her bicycle north on Hickory Avenue about two miles north Hull.

Moss was transported by the Hull Ambulance to Sioux Center Health, where she was pronounced deceased by the Sioux County medical examiner.

Authorities suspected that De Jong was under the influence of alcohol as he had bloodshot/watery eyes, slurred speech and the odor of an alcoholic beverage, according to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office’s incident report.

He failed preliminary field sobriety tests, there were alcoholic beverage containers in his vehicle, and he admitted to drinking alcoholic beverages at his workplace shortly before the collision, according to the incident report.

De Jong was transported to the Sioux County Jail in Orange City where he was charged.

He posted a cash bond of $20,000 and was released Tuesday, Sept. 7.

De Jong originally pleaded not guilty to the charges of homicide by vehicle caused by operating while under the influence, a Class B felony, and homicide by vehicle due to reckless driving, a Class C felony, on Sept. 24 in Sioux County District Court in Orange City.

A jury trial initially was set for Dec. 14.

However, after a series of continuances, a plea agreement was reached, and De Jong pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle due to reckless driving on April 19.

District Judge Roger Sailer accepted the plea on May 9.

Sentencing has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 18, at which time Sailer will rule on accepting or rejecting the plea agreement.

As part of the plea agreement, the charge of homicide by vehicle caused by operating while under the influence would be dismissed.

The state, represented by Sioux County attorney Thomas Kunstle, is recommending De Jong be placed in the custody of the Iowa Department Corrections for an indeterminate term not to exceed 10 years and pay $150,000 in restitution to Moss’ estate or heirs, a $5,000 fine, a $750 surcharge and $100 in court-related costs.

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Past news on Lorna Rae Moss


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