A 22-year-old Durango man who drove his car off the road and hit a tree, killing a 17-year-old passenger, pleaded guilty Friday to vehicular homicide, a Class 3 felony.
Benjamin Keil also pleaded guilty to two counts of careless driving causing bodily injury in 6th Judicial District Court.
His sentence will be capped at six years in the Department of Corrections at the court’s discretion.
Authorities say Keil was driving a 2002 Audi S6 on the night of June 9 in the 200 block of Fir Drive in the Durango West II subdivision, where he failed to negotiate a turn and struck a tree.
In a previous interview, Colorado State Patrol Capt. Adrian Driscoll said excessive speed and alcohol are suspected in the crash. He was unable to say how fast Keil was driving.
Mercedez Lynn Farley, 17, of Durango was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center, where she later died. She was the only passenger in the vehicle not wearing a seat belt.
Keil and passengers David Myers, 20, of Durango and Angela Rosales, 23, of Durango all suffered minor injuries.
Keil is scheduled for sentencing Feb. 16.