Wrong-Way Driver Pleads Not Guilty For Motorcyclist's Death

By: WOWT 6 News Email
By: WOWT 6 News Email

The man charged with manslaughter, DUI and leaving the scene of the accident that killed an Omaha motorcyclist plead not guilty Friday morning.

Bond was set at 10 percent of $250,000 and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for August 1st for 24-year-old Victor Perez of Omaha.

Police say an SUV driven by Perez was going north in the southbound lanes of Interstate 480 near Dodge Street just after midnight Monday when it hit a motorcycle driven by 42-year-old Mickey Riesberg. Reisberg was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center with critical injuries and later died.

Investigators say Perez continued north from the scene. Officers shut down I-480 across the Missouri River to stop him, but he cut through downtown Omaha to go south. Perez ended up crossing the Veteran's Memorial Bridge into Iowa and was located at the Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs.

A search by WOWT 6 News revealed Perez does have a valid driver's license. He has two previous charges for driving on a suspended license in 2009 and 2013.

Riesberg leaves behind a wife and two children. Friends say he loved motorcycles, liked to ride and liked to show his bikes. “He really liked to go extreme, to make it a show bike," said John Petersen. "He won first place in the show this year and we kinda contributed to it so we felt like it was our bike, too. I just can't believe going down the wrong way on the interstate. To me, I just don't understand how you could do that. If the guy was drunk that's just terrible. I'd hate to have to live with that myself."

When tested by police, Perez had a blood-alcohol level of .191.

“We have to look at alcohol availability and what decisions were made in our community and across the state and we have to look at the number of liquor licenses we have," said Project Extra Mile’s Nikki Carritt. "You know bars are open until 2 a.m., that's longer than before. With all those pieces together we increase the availability of alcohol, we increase the likelihood these things are going to happen."

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