SIDNEY — An Illinois trucker whose semitrailer truck slammed into stalled traffic in western Nebraska may have fallen asleep behind the wheel.
A Nebraska state trooper testified in Cheyenne County Court on Monday that Josef Slezak had been driving for nearly 15 hours when he crashed into the back of a car on Interstate 80.
The car driven by Christopher Schmidt of Gaithersburg, Md., was pushed into a vehicle driven by his pregnant wife, Diana Schmidt, and carrying their two children. All of the family members were killed.
Slezak left Milwaukee around 3 p.m. on Sept. 8. Authorities believe fatigue was a factor in the early-morning crash, because he didn't slow down as he approached the stopped traffic.
Slezak is charged with four counts of manslaughter and five counts of motor vehicle homicide. — AP
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