FREMONT – A Fremont man has been given five consecutive one-year jail sentences for the crash deaths of a woman, her unborn child and her three sons.
The crash occurred on February 2nd, in heavy fog just west of Fremont. Authorities said German Lopez Saenz’s pickup truck first rear-ended a Ford Mustang, driven by a local high school student, that was stopped for a turn. The force of that collision sent Saenz’s pickup into westbound traffic on Highway 30, where he collided with a Ford Taurus, driven by Maria Menjivar, from Schuyler. Menjivar and her sons Julian, Adrian, Angel were killed. Menjivar was pregnant at the time of her death.
Menjivar was not wearing a seat belt, and only two of the children were in proper restraints. All were pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver and passengers of the Mustang were taken to Methodist Fremont Health for their injuries.
German Saenz was taken to Methodist Fremont Health and had to be transported to Nebraska Medicine in Omaha for his injuries.
Alcohol was not determined to be a factor in the crash.
During the trial, prosecutors alleged that German Lopez Saenz caused the deaths of five people simply because he “wasn’t paying attention.” Prosecutors also alleged that Saenz was not remorseful after the crash. Saenz was found guilty of four counts of vehicular homicide and one of vehicular homicide of an unborn child in October. The jury deliberated for less than 30 minutes.
German Lopez Saenz was sentenced last Tuesday at the Dodge County Courthouse in Fremont. At his sentencing, he appeared to be deeply affected by the collision. “I am very sorry for what happened. When I left my house, I didn’t know an accident would happen. I am sorry, from my heart. I never wanted this to happen,” Saenz said at the sentencing.
Nebraska defines “motor vehicle homicide” (sometimes called “vehicular homicide”) as causing the death of another person, while driving, having also violated any state law or local ordinance.