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Man pleads guilty to DUI in fatal Las Vegas tour bus crash

FILE - In this undated file photo released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Jonathan Carrington Donner. Donner has pleaded guilty to felony driving under the influence, and could face up to 60 years in state prison for causing a fiery sightseeing bus crash that killed two people and badly injured three others over Labor Day weekend 2015. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP, File)
October 04, 2016 - 2:49 PM

LAS VEGAS - A 26-year-old Las Vegas man pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, causing a fiery crash that killed two people and badly injured three others on a sightseeing bus over Labor Day weekend 2015, a prosecutor said.

Jonathan Carrington Donner admitted to having a blood-alcohol level more than 2.5 times the legal limit, along with cocaine residue and the painkiller hydrocodone in his system when he sped through a red light and crashed a BMW into the tour bus, which overturned and burst into flames, prosecutor Brian Rutledge said.

Rutledge said Donner faces 24 to 60 years in state prison at sentencing Dec. 20. The prosecutor said he'll seek the maximum.

Donner's defence attorney, Steve Yeager, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Donner avoided trial with his pleas to two counts of DUI causing the deaths of German tourist Rolf Kloeppel and tour driver Jose Francisco Cosenza.

Donner also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence causing substantial bodily harm for burns and injuries suffered by Kloeppel's wife, Stefanie Kloeppel, and Brian and Sara Zerbee, a couple from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Donner had been facing up to 100 years in prison on five felony charges. He remains jailed on $1 million bail.

The BMW also caught fire and collided with another vehicle, and Donner was hospitalized after the crash. The driver of the second car wasn't injured.

Records showed that Donner was on bail at the time of the Las Vegas crash following his arrest several months earlier in the rural Mineral County town of Hawthorne, Nevada, on felony drug and marijuana possession and transport charges. He also faced two misdemeanour charges, including driving under the influence in that case.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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