CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — The Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled that there was enough evidence to convict a Reinbeck man in connection with a 2010 crash that killed his passenger.

Austin David Hansen, 28, had argued there weren’t sufficient facts to show that his intoxication was the cause of the wreck and the death of Kaley Kennison, 26, of Cedar Falls.

In a ruling filed Thursday, the Iowa Court of Appeals upheld his conviction for homicide by vehicle.

“We conclude there was sufficient evidence that Hansen’s criminal act of driving under the influence of alcohol caused Kennison’s death,” the court wrote in the opinion.

Authorities said Hansen was driving Kennison home following a night of drinking at Waterloo nightclubs when he struck a retaining wall in the 1200 block of Walnut Street in Cedar Falls. His blood alcohol level tested at .111 about two and a half hours after the crash.

Hansen waived his right to a jury trial, allowing a judge to hear the case. He took the stand and said Kennison had slipped off the seat onto the truck’s floor and pinned his foot to the accelerator.

Prosecutors said his story changed since he talked with investigators immediately after the collision. The state argued Hansen’s account was at odds with other evidence in the case, including an impact mark on the truck’s windshield that likely was caused by Kennison’s head.

Hansen currently is housed at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison for homicide by vehicle and is serving a 30-year sentence on unrelated meth charges.

Cops and courts reporter for the Courier

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