SIDNEY, Neb. — A Cheyenne County District Court judge has rejected a truck driver's motion to have charges in a fatal accident dismissed.
Josef Slezak, 36, of River Grove, Ill., faces four counts of manslaughter, four counts of motor vehicle homicide and one count of motor vehicle homicide in connection with a Sept. 9, 2012, crash on Interstate 80 near Sidney.
A family from Gaithersburg, Md., died in the multiple-vehicle crash: Diana Schmidt, 28; her husband, Christopher Schmidt, 30; and their two children, Samuel, 3, and Conner, 2. Diana Schmidt was pregnant at the time of the crash.
Prosecutors say Slezak had been driving for more than 15 hours at the time of the crash, in violation of commercial motor vehicle federal regulations, and failed to notice emergency lights on other semitrailer trucks and radio traffic advising drivers to be cautious of an accident ahead. Witnesses said Slezak did not slow down or brake before the crash.
Judge Derek Weimer determined that the state had met its burden of proof to establish probable cause during a preliminary hearing and upheld Judge Randin Roland's ruling binding the case over for trial.
Slezak is scheduled to be arraigned in District Court Feb. 7.
— World-Herald News Service