According to the Omaha World-Herald News Service, the truck driver responsible for a crash that killed a family has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Slezak was charged with 4 counts of Class III felony manslaughter, 4 counts Class IIIA felony motor vehicle homicide and 1 count of Class IV felony motor vehicle homicide of an unborn child, for a crash that claimed the lives of 2 adults, 2 children and 1 unborn child. He faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The crash occurred in the early morning hours of September 9, 2012, as Slezak was traveling along Interstate 80 through western Nebraska, 40 miles from the Wyoming border, when he crashed into a line of vehicles that were stopped because of an earlier accident that had occurred because of a stalled truck.
Slezak’s truck rammed into a stopped Mustang, pushing it into a Toyota Corolla. The Corolla was then pushed under another truck.
30-year-old Christopher Schmidt was driving the Mustang, and his pregnant wife Diana R. Schmidt, 28, and the couple’s two children, Samuel Donavan Schmidt, 3, and Conner Bradley Schmidt, 2, were in the Corolla. All died at the scene.
Cheyenne County Attorney Paul Schaub argued that Slezak was asleep at the wheel when he crashed into the row of stalled cars and was also over his allowable driving hours.
In September, Slezak entered a no-contest plea as a part of a plea bargain in exchange for the dropping of four additional felony manslaughter counts.
The Omaha Omaha World-Herald News Service reported that Cheyenne County Judge Derek Weimer sentenced Slezak to 60 months in prison for each four counts of motor vehicle homicide and 20 to 60 months in prison on a charge of motor vehicle homicide of an unborn child.
“Slezak received the maximum sentence on each count charged against him,” Omaha Omaha World-Herald News Service reported.