News outlets reported that 25-year-old Steven Michael Derengowski of Wilmington pleaded guilty Wednesday to death by motor vehicle in New Hanover County Court.
Derengowski was charged in a wreck that killed his friend, 25-year-old Billy Ray Kolasa.
Assistant District Attorney Doug Carriker said Derengowski missed three warning signs before driving at 80 mph (128 kph) into a massive yellow crane being used to repair a bridge that crosses Lords Creek. Prosecutors say his blood alcohol level was 0.16 percent, twice the legal limit in North Carolina.
Derengowski has been sentenced to between six and nine years in prison.
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