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Man, 22, pleads no contest in fatality

A Clearwater man accused of killing a 23-year-old pedestrian on U.S. 19 in August has pleaded no contest to four charges related to the accident. Kevan Sandstead, 22, of 6465 142nd Ave., Clearwater, pleaded no contest Tuesday to driving while intoxicated manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident with death or injuries, driving under the influence, and culpable negligence.

Sandstead is scheduled to be sentenced March 14 after a pre-sentencing investigation is completed.

According to the Highway Patrol, Chester R. Chwistek, was killed about 2:15 p.m. on Aug. 13 when he was crossing U.S. 19 just north of Toucan Trail in northwest Hernando County. He was struck by Sandstead's truck, which was heading south in the northbound lane of U.S. 19. The truck dragged Chwistek several hundred feet.

Sandstead then drove his truck another 1.8 miles south before losing control, flipping once and coming to rest in the median, according to the Highway Patrol.

Sandstead was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where he was treated for injuries.

Chwistek was an employee of the Weeki Wachee Holiday Inn on U.S. 19.

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