Driver of ATV crash that killed local teen to plead guilty

A local man charged with vehicular homicide in September 2012 will plead guilty to the charge May 13.

Police arrested Derick Bear, 19, Marshalltown, in November after he drove an ATV recklessly and killed 14-year-old Mario Ortega.

The charge was not reduced in any way, remaining a Class C felony.

Des Moines Attorney David Pargulski represented Bear throughout the proceeding after he made bail.

Paul Crawford, assistant county attorney, said the county attorney’s office and Bear’s attorney reached a plea in recent weeks.

Ortega was not wearing a helmet when the crash ejected him from the ATV, sending him flying into a grassy area near Marion Street and 10th Avenue. Paramedics transported Ortega to Taylor House Hospice in Des Moines following the crash, where he later died from his injuries.

Bear and Ortega were friends, Crawford said. Alcohol was not involved in the crash.

A judge will sentence Bear at1:30 p.m. on May 13 in the grand courtroom at the Marshall County Courthouse.

Bear faces up to 10 years imprisonment and fines as high as $10,000. The judge will schedule Bear’s sentencing during his plea hearing.

Ortega was a freshman at Marshalltown High School.