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Forum staff reports, Published April 15 2013

Semi driver charged with manslaughter in motorcycle crash strikes plea deal

FARGO – A Long Prairie, Minn., man has agreed to plead guilty in Cass County District Court after prosecutors charged him with manslaughter in a fatal motorcycle crash.

James Toner, 56, was driving a semi on June 4 in south Fargo when a motorcycle driven by 29-year-old Jason Viestenz collided with the truck. Viestenz was killed, and his 10-year-old son Elijah, who was riding with him, received minor injuries. Elijah was wearing a helmet.

Toner was charged with manslaughter, a Class B felony, and misdemeanor reckless driving in the case.

Assistant Cass County State’s Attorney Cherie Clark said declined to comment on the deal other than to confirm Toner is set for a change of plea hearing May 13.

Toner had been scheduled to go to trial on the charges starting Tuesday.