Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

Father charged with vehicular homicide in death of son

DEADWOOD — A fatal crash in September 2021 that allegedly resulted in the death of a 9-year-old has resulted in the child’s father being charged with vehicular homicide charge.

A Lawrence County grand jury indicted Jessey Lee Pullen, 41 on April 13 and charged him with vehicular homicide, a Class 3 felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and $30,000 in fines, or, in the alternative, second-degree manslaughter, a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

Pullen was also charged by complaint April 13 with two counts of failure to wear a safety belt; operator to assure that passengers between 5 and 18 wear seat belts; and speeding 69 mph in a 55-mph zone, all Class 2 misdemeanors punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine per count.

The crash happened north of Deadwood around 4:45 p.m. Sept. 23, 2021 when Pullen was allegedly driving a 2006 GMC Sierra K1500 pickup southbound on Highway 85. The truck left the roadway, went into the ditch, and rolled.

Kelton Pullen, the 9-year-old passenger, was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. Jessey Pullen sustained life-threatening injuries. Neither were wearing a seat belt,

Pullen was arrested April 15 and court documents say he is free on $10,000 bond.

Pullen will make his initial court appearance at May 2.

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