California man expected to plead in Nebraska triple fatality

October 18, 2021 GMT

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — A California man who was scheduled to go to trial Monday for a traffic crash that killed three people in Nebraska is expected to enter a plea deal.

An attorney for Kenneth Kratt, 36, from Madera, California, notified the Buffalo County District Court in Nebraska last month that Kratt planned to accept a plea deal on three counts of felony manslaughter. A plea hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, KNOP-TV reported.

The crash happened Sept. 20, 2019, on Interstate 80 about one mile west of Gibbon.

Investigators said Kratt was driving 75 mph in a construction zone when his truck hit two vehicles that were stopped or slowed because of the construction work. The crash started a chain reaction that involved four vehicles.

Ryan Vanicek, 37, of Schuyler, and his passenger, Daniel Seelhoff, 50, of Lincoln, died in one car. Scott Gaylord, 54, of Lincoln, who was in a different vehicle, also was killed.

Kratt was not seriously injured.