Oglala man pleads guilty to manslaughter in 2019 fatal crash

(KWCH 12)
Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 1:52 PM CST
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OGLALA, S.D. (KOTA) - A fatal mistake behind the wheel leaves a man slated for time in a jail cell.

Clifford Running Hawk of Oglala pleaded guilty to an involuntary manslaughter charge stemming from a drunk driving accident that injured two and killed a mother in a Rapid City federal court on Wednesday.

According to a factual basis statement, Running Hawk was traveling southeast in a blue 2012 Honda Civic on Nov. 21, 2019 when he failed to stop for a stop sign at the intersection of BIA 115 and Highway 18.

He collided with a white 2016 Hyundai Accent driven by Ronald Richards near the intersection. Richards was heading west down Highway 18 and had two passengers: his wife, Denise Black Feather Richards and Denise’s mother, Virginia Kills Crow Indian.

Kills Crow Indian suffered a blow to her head and neck, prompting first responders to transfer her to Pine Ridge IHS Hospital for treatment. She was later LifeFlighted to Monument Health Hospital in Rapid City, where she died several days later.

Ronald and Denise were also injured in the crash.

Officers later performed a breath test on Running Hawk, whose blood alcohol content was at .206% - more than twice the legal limit.

Running Hawk, who appeared virtually before a magistrate judge, faces up to eight years in prison and a $20,000 fine for the Class 4 felony.

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