Charges reduced against driver in deadly Nebraska crash

December 24, 2021 GMT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Charges have been reduced in the case against a tractor-trailer driver involved in a eight-vehicle crash that killed a father and son who were on their way to Nebraska’s first home football game.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that Lancaster County Attorney Patrick Condon said Thursday that his office reviewed the case of 50-year-old Yorkwind Crawford, of North Miami Beech, Florida, and didn’t believe it could prove any of the underlying factors that might lead to felony motor vehicle homicide convictions.

Investigators have said they believe speed and inattention were the primary causes of the September crash that killed 41-year-old Mark Kaipust and 7-year-old Taylor Kaipust, of La Vista, Nebraska. Five other people were injured.

ADVERTISEMENT

Case law in Nebraska has established that mere speeding does not constitute reckless driving and, therefore, cannot by itself constitute felony motor vehicle homicide. So Crawford now faces two misdemeanor motor-vehicle homicide charges.

Each misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail, instead of the three years in prison he could have faced for each felony charge.

Crawford’s attorney, Jim McGough of Omaha, said he expects his client to plead no contest to the misdemeanor charges at a February hearing. McGough said Crawford is “beside himself with grief and remorse.”