A northern Minnesota man has been sentenced to probation after admitting he left an underage drinking party and crashed a pickup truck while racing, killing his teenage sister who was riding in the open bed. He was 18 at the time.

Kyle Mitchell Lee Hardy, now 21, of Redby was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Duluth to three years of probation, despite the prosecution urging an 18-month prison term.

In arguing against a prison term, defense attorney Katherian D. Doe said in court filings that "the accident was the result of two young [drivers] drinking to excess and then engaging in horseplay while they were driving."

According to the plea agreement, court documents and police reports:

Chastity Hardy, 15, picked up her 13-year-old sister and Kyle Hardy in her grandmother's pickup and arrived at the party in Redby, on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, on the night of Aug. 28, 2009.

The three left the party about 1 a.m. after drinking with several other teenagers. Kyle Hardy said he decided to get behind the wheel because Chastity was too drunk to drive. The two girls climbed into the back of the pickup, and they headed toward Ponemah.

A car driven by the party's host pulled up, and the two vehicles started to race. While approaching a curve, Kyle Hardy drove off the road to avoid hitting the car and crashed into a ditch.

Chastity Hardy and the other passenger were thrown from the truck's open bed. Chastity Hardy, who had a blood-alcohol content of 0.16 percent, died. Her sister suffered a broken ankle.

Kyle Hardy's blood-alcohol content that night was slightly below 0.11 percent. The other driver, Michael Ravensborg, was above 0.08 percent, the legal limit for driving.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482