Concrete truck driver charged with misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide

Concrete truck driver charged with misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide
Austin M. Holloway

A Fremont man who was driving a concrete truck when it tipped over and crushed two people in a car has been charged with misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide.

Austin M. Holloway, 21, was turning from Giles Road onto 120th Street when the truck tipped and landed on a northbound car that was stopped at a traffic light. Michael Dearden, the driver of the car, and passenger Phillip Hertel, both 23, were killed. Both people killed were graduates of Plattsmouth High School.

Last month, Sarpy County Judge Todd J. Hutton said he could find no evidence of reckless driving on the part of Holloway, who had been charged with two counts of felony motor vehicle homicide due to reckless driving. Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov said then that he would consider whether to refile the charge as a felony or seek a misdemeanor charge.

The judge noted that when the crash occurred, there was evidence the truck had a full load and was overweight. GPS from the truck showed that earlier that day, Holloway had made the same turn at 120th without incident.

“I talked with the families of the victims (Monday) and told them of our decision,” Polikov said Tuesday.

Defense attorney Sean Conway said Tuesday morning that he is waiting to review the charges.

“We’re going to look at the facts carefully and respond accordingly to what’s been filed,” Conway said.