Semi Driver Found Guilty In 2011 Fatal Motorcycle Crash

By: LeAnne Morman, Mike McKnight Email
By: LeAnne Morman, Mike McKnight Email

Johnathan Westbrook was found guilty of misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide in Sarpy County court Thursday. Westbrook could face one year in prison and a $1,000 fine for his role in a crash that killed an Omaha mother in September 2011.

Nichole Locke was riding a motorcycle with her husband Tony when they collided with a semi driven by Westbrook at Highway 370 and Interstate 80. Nichole clung to life for a month before passing away.

Westbrook was tried for the case earlier, but the trial ended in a hung jury, which reportedly questioned the traffic light function at the intersection at the time of the accident. However, Westbrook was found guilty by a judge for running a red light.

Prosecutor Ben Perlman says the same evidence was presented to another jury in court with very little changes and Thursday Westbrook was found guilty.

Locke’s husband, who survived the crash, did have a brief victim impact statement that was read in court

Although Perlman admits this was an unintentional crime committed by Westbrook, he said, “I’m glad that justice was done for Nichole and her family, her widower and her three children.”

Westbrook is scheduled to be sentenced in November.

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