Illinois Man Pleads No Contest in Crash That Killed Nebraska Family

Posted 7 months ago

By Scott Carlson

Josef Slezak

Josef Slezak

(AP) — A 36-year-old Illinois truck driver has pleaded no contest to five felony counts for a crash last year that killed a family.

Court records say 37-year-old Josef Slezak pleaded no contest Friday to four counts of motor vehicle homicide and one count of motor vehicle homicide involving an unborn child. In exchange, prosecutors dropped four counts of manslaughter. Slezak will be sentenced on Oct. 16.

Authorities say Slezak had been driving virtually nonstop from Milwaukee, Wis., and was in western Nebraska on Interstate 80 when he fell asleep at the wheel last September. His semitrailer slammed into the back of a car, killing Christopher Schmidt, his wife Diana Schmidt, and the couple’s two young children. Diana Schmidt was 30 weeks pregnant at the time.