Trucker pleads not guilty in Buffalo County manslaughter case

(Source: Madero County, California, Department of Corrections)
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GIBBON, Neb. -- (KSNB) The trucker suspected in a September triple fatality accident near Gibbon says he's not guilty.

Kenneth Kratt, 34, Madero, California, is charged with three counts of felony manslaughter in Buffalo County.

The crash happened September 20, 2019, on Interstate 80 about one mile west of the Gibbon exit. Investigators said Kratt was driving 75 miles-an-hour through a construction zone marked for 65-miles an hour. Traffic ahead of him had slowed down or stopped because of the construction back-up. Kratt's truck struck two vehicles from behind, starting a chain reaction that involved four other vehicles and which killed three people.

The victims were Ryan Vanicek, 37, of Schuyler, and his passenger, Daniel Seelhoff, 50, of Lincoln and Scott Gaylord, 54, of Lincoln.

Kratt was not seriously injured.

He has pleaded not guilty to each manslaughter charge. If convicted of all three crimes, he could get up to 60 years in prison.

His next court date is in March.

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State Patrol: Both east-bound and west-bound lanes of Interstate 80 are closed between Shelton and Kearney. (Source: NSP)