One person was killed and a suspect is in custody following a brief pursuit and crash in Lexington.
The Nebraska State Patrol says that 22-year-old Destry Swartz of Coats, Kansas, ran a stop sign at 6th and Grant Streets just before midnight Monday, and then fled in his 2004 Dodge Ram when a State Patrol trooper attempted to stop him for violating the stop sign and reckless driving.
Officials say in the pursuit that ensued, Swartz ran a red light at the intersection of Highway 283 and Cattlemen Drive, crashing into a Ford pickup. The Ford pickup burst into flames at impact and the driver of that vehicle died at the scene. Swartz and his 17-year-old male passenger were not injured.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Dawson County Attorney arraigned Swartz for motor vehicle homicide, operating a vehicle to avoid arrest resulting in an injury or death, and driving under the influence, as well as several other charges.
Dawson County Judge Carlton Clark set bond at $500,000 at 10 percent at Swartz' arraignment, citing the defendant's prior criminal history. Swartz pled to a DUI in June 2012.
"His permanent address, which is not in the state of Nebraska, and the fact that he does have some history indicates that he may be a threat to the community if he's out, because of the driving while intoxicated. So that's why I argued for a high bond and I think the judge set the appropriate bond," says Dawson County Attorney Elizabeth Waterman.
Swartz said in court that he is retaining a private attorney. The preliminary hearing is set for October 18, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.
Authorities have not released the name of the victim, but Tyson Foods has confirmed that he was an employee at their plant in Lexington and was leaving work at the time of the incident.
The crash is still under investigation.