Authorities in Sibley County say a man facing felony charges in a double-fatal accident last year has had the charges reduced as part of a plea deal.

As part of the agreement, felony charges against Curtis Petzel, 61, of Arlington were reduced to misdemeanors.

The Sibley County Attorney says the coronavirus pandemic was one factor in a decision against taking the case to trial. Petzel was originally charged with second-degree manslaughter and criminal vehicular homicide.

Petzel was reportedly pulling a farm trailer southeast of Hutchinson that broke free from a tractor hitch in June 2019.

The trailer hit and killed a couple riding a motorcycle, Marvin Fandrich, 60, and his wife Kathy Fandrich, 61, both of Aberdeen, South Dakota.