County Attorney: No criminal charges in death of Abby Uecker

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Thayer County Attorney Daniel Werner provided additional details on the death of country singer and University of Nebraska grad Abby Uecker on Thursday morning.

It was determined Uecker, whose stage name was Abby Nicole, died from severe blunt force head trauma from a UTV rollover. The incident is listed as an accident.

The accident occurred after Uecker performed at the Thayer County Fair on July 22.

Werner said emergency crews were called to the fairgrounds around 4:20 a.m. on July 23 regarding a UTV accident. Uecker was taken to the hospital where she later died just after 5:30 a.m.

Werner said no criminal charges will be brought against the driver of the UTV, Jason Lienemann, of North Platte, and that five people were inside the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Capacity is four, and Uecker was in the front passenger seat sitting on someone’s lap.

Werner added alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash, noting the driver only admitted to having five or six beers earlier in the night, sometime between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

However, police did not contact Lienemann until 4 p.m. the following day, making an accurate blood-alcohol test difficult to obtain, Werner said.

The driver reportedly stuck around the scene of the crash and at the hospital until roughly 6 a.m. before heading home.

When asked how the crash happened, Werner said the UTV was driving around a dirt race track on the county fairgrounds, when one of the passenger's hat flew off. While searching for the hat, the driver took a turn, and the UTV rolled, pinning Uecker underneath.

The driver of the vehicle, as well as one of the passengers, said the turn was taken at an appropriate speed.

However, Werner noted uneven weight inside the UTV or the possibility the vehicle was going faster than believed could have played a role in the crash.

During the news conference, Werner read a statement from the Uecker family lawyer, "The family fully respects and understands your decision not to proceed with the criminal prosecution."