Man pleads in deadly New Year’s Day crash


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man pleaded guilty in a drunk driving crash that killed his passenger after a New Year’s Day celebration gone wrong.

25-year-old Steven Derengowski pleaded guilty to death by vehicle, in exchange his second degree murder charge was dismissed.

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On January 1, Derengowski was driving down River Road with his friend Billy Ray Kolasa in the passenger seat.

Derengowski was driving at least 90 miles per hour when he drove through a barricade and hit a construction crane.

Kolasa was pronounced dead at the scene.

Derengowski, who had a prior DWI conviction, was sentenced to between six to nine years in prison.