Hastings man gets prison time for crash that killed two teens
HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - A Hastings man is heading to prison in connection with a traffic crash that killed two teenagers nearly one year ago.
Adams County District Court Judge Morgan Farquhar sentenced 33-year-old Anthony Pingel to at least 38 years in prison on five separate charges, including two counts of felony manslaughter.
The judge gave Pingel 18 to 20 years for each count of felony manslaughter, one year for each assault charge and 60 days for the DUI along with a fine and six months revocation of his license.
“These sentences will be served consecutively as each crime and each victim deserve their own separate sentence,” said Judge Farquhar.
Ahead of his sentencing, he read an apology to the families of the victims.
Back in September, Pingel pleaded no contest as part of a plea deal. He was originally charged with felony motor vehicle homicide, but prosecutors dropped those charges. He also pleaded no contest to two counts of misdemeanor third degree assault and one count of DUI.
The fatal accident happened December 12, 2021 at an intersection just east of Hastings. The teenagers who died in the crash were 16-year-old Victoria Fleming of Superior and 18-year-old Tristen Owens of Hastings.
According to a sheriff’s report, Pingel’s vehicle was traveling north on Blaine, when it collided with the other car carrying the two victims that was traveling eastbound on 12th Street. When officers responded to the scene, they found the two passengers of the car that was hit, dead. 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.
Victoria Fleming’s mother, Heidi, spoke after the sentence was read, she spoke briefly how she has been effected by her daughter’s death.
“Well it’s like, you know this is so hard for me every day,” Heidi Fleming said. “You know I’m emotional, depressed, sad, crying. I go to bed crying, wake up. We used to go to church for ten years but when this happened I was mad at God.”
During the hearing Pingel read a prepared statement to the court and the victims’ families, but Heidi Fleming said a letter is not enough to make up for the loss of a child.
“Pingel wrote us a letter, but it don’t matter that’s my baby girl that he took away and another one that I’ll never get back.” Heidi told Local4 News.
Investigator’s determined that Pingel was drunk at the time of the accident.
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