- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Columbia County man has been sentenced to three years in prison for driving drunk and causing a crash that killed his best friend.

The Wisconsin State Journal (https://bit.ly/1LmpQbc ) reports 49-year-old William Berndt of Fall River was sentenced Wednesday by a Dane County judge. He had pleaded guilty to a homicide charge in the death of 51-year-old Michael Dykstra, who was a passenger in Berndt’s car at the time of the March 2014 crash in the town of York.

Authorities say Berndt drove through a stop sign and smashed into a minivan, killing Dykstra and badly injuring three people in the van. Berndt’s blood alcohol content was 0.11 after the crash, and prosecutors say his blood showed recent cocaine use.

Dykstra’s niece, Jessica Dykstra, says her family has forgiven Berndt.

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Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, https://www.madison.com/wsj

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