One of the captains who helped launch the Discovery Channel's most popular reality television series is headed to prison.
According to the Associated Press, Clarence "Ole" Helgevold Jr. has pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and driving under the influence in a fatal crash. On the evening of Jan. 19, 2011, Helgevold crashed into the back of a snowmobile driven by George Larion. From a police report:
"Larion and a friend were riding two separate snow machines on the return journey from checking a trap line. The two exited from a trail along a ditch into the road, and subsequently attempted to pull off again when they heard a vehicle coming up behind them."
Upon impact, Larion was thrown from his vehicle and later died at the scene. Nearly two hours after the accident, Helgevold registered a blood alcohol content of .138. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the 60-year-old will serve 4 1/2 years in prison for criminally negligent homicide and six months for the DUI charge.
Back in 2004, it was Helgevold and the crew of his boat, Arctic Dawn, that starred in a three-part miniseries on the Discovery Channel called "America's Deadliest Season." That show later went on to become "Deadliest Catch" — one of the highest rated series in the network's history.
In September 2010, the Arctic Dawn caught fire and was heavily damaged while moored in Seattle.
Helgevold is currently under house arrest and will undergo treatment for alcohol abuse before starting his prison term.