Misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide charge filed yesterday against the driver of a semi involved in a four-vehicle accident that claimed the life of a 13-year-old boy this past summer.
The Cassgram reports Cass County Attorney Nathan Cox said it’s his understanding that 60-year-old Kevin P. Monahan of rural Murray will turn himself in today.
Monahan was the driver of a northbound 2013 Kenworth on Highway 75 near the Plattsmouth airport that struck three passenger vehicles stopped in the northbound lane for highway construction work on July 19th. Nathan Houfek of the rural Beaver Lake area was killed. Four other people were injured including Nathan’s mother and sister.
Fire and rescue crews had to use three Jaws of Life sets to extricate four patients from two of the vehicles. Nathan Houfek was in a Ford Fusion that was the second vehicle struck from behind by the semi, according to the law enforcement report.
The Class I Misdemeanor charge accuses Monahan of careless driving; and/or failure to obey traffic control device; and/or speed too fast for conditions; and/or following too closely; and/or failure to exercise due care with pedestrian (construction flagman). Cox told Cassgram that there was no evidence of drugs or alcohol in Monahan’s system. Those factors would have constituted a felony charge as would have evidence of reckless or willful reckless driving, said Cox. Referring to bar-press guidelines pertaining to pending court actions, Cox would not comment on what may have caused the alleged careless driving which caused the fatality.
Cox said the investigation process by the sheriff’s department involved accident reconstruction, interviews with those involved and with witnesses, interviews with rescue personnel, reviewing the autopsy results and retrieving travel data from the semi.
Cox met with the Houfek family on Wednesday and informed them about the charge that was going to be filed.
According to the arrest affidavit, Monahan told a deputy at the scene when asked what happened, "I looked up, everyone was stopped and I hit them all.”
When Monahan turns himself in, the pre-determined bond amount set by state law for the charge is $10,000 (10% applicable). Upcoming actions in Cass County Court will include arraignment, the setting of a trial date and pre-trial hearings.
Conviction on a Class I Misdemeanor carries up to one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.