Driver in crash that killed 3 Carleton College classmates ruled not guilty

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A Carleton College student charged after a car crash that killed three classmates was found not guilty Tuesday.

Northfield News reports 21-year-old William Sparks was acquitted in connection with the February 2014 incident, with the judge ruling he was not guilty.

Sparks, who is from Evanston, Illinois, was behind the wheel during the crash, which happened along Highway 3 just a few miles from Carleton. The road was described as snow-packed and slippery at the time.

Authorities said he lost control of the vehicle, and crossed into oncoming traffic. The SUV was then hit by a semi.

James Adams, 20, of St. Paul; Paxton Harvieux, 21, of Stillwater; and Michael Goodgame, 20, of Westport, Connecticut, (pictured above) were killed in the crash. They were all members of the school’s ultimate frisbee team.

Sparks and another passenger, Connor Eckert, were injured.

The Dakota County Attorney's Office charged Sparks earlier this year with two misdemeanors related to careless driving.

According to the criminal complaint, the State Patrol had said Sparks' speed was a factor – but according to the Star Tribune, a separate reconstruction by St. Paul Police found that wasn't the case.

The Pioneer Press says alcohol, drugs and texting were all ruled out.

Sparks faced up to 90 days in jail and a fine.

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