Jury trial set for December in Hastings fatal crash case

Anthony Pingel's motor vehicle homicide trial has been pushed back from August to December.
Anthony Pingel's motor vehicle homicide trial has been pushed back from August to December.(Adams County Jail)
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 2:00 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The trial for a Hastings man is now scheduled to begin nearly a year after the deadly December 2021 crash that left two dead.

Anthony Pingel, 32, is charged in Adams County District Court with two counts of felony motor vehicle homicide, two counts of misdemeanor third degree assault, one count of misdemeanor driving under the influence and one count of contempt of court. Pingel was arrested after a Dec. 12 accident just east of Hastings in which two teenagers died.

During a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday, Judge Morgan Farquhar scheduled Pingel’s trial to begin Dec. 5 at 9 a.m. and run through Dec. 16.

Pingel waived his right to speedy trial and his bond has been continued.

The teenagers who died in the crash were Victoria Fleming, 16, of Superior and Tristen Owens, 18, of Hastings. The vehicle carrying the victims was engulfed in flames when emergency crews arrived at the scene. The assault charges are related to injuries suffered by two other passengers riding in the victim’s vehicle. An Adams County court official told Local4 that the contempt of court charge was related to Pingel’s alleged refusal to comply with a court-ordered blood test.

According to the arrest affidavit, when deputies arrived on scene, they observed a silver Jeep, registered to Pingel with extensive front end damage. Court records indicate that investigators observed Pingel to be under the influence of alcohol.

If convicted of felony motor vehicle homicide, Pingel could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison on each of the two counts, for a possible total of 40 years. The max penalties for convictions on the misdemeanor charges total just more than two years in prison and/or $2,500 in fines.

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