Driver May Have Been Drunk, Distracted in Fatal Crash - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Driver May Have Been Drunk, Distracted in Crash that Killed Aurora Teacher

Posted: Updated:
Otis Newcomb Otis Newcomb

Officers say a York man was drunk and distracted, causing a crash that killed an Aurora teacher and coach.    

Lauren Akerson died at the scene, when the truck she was riding in was struck by a van that crossed the center line. The crash happened early on the morning of November 2 near York.

According to documents filed for an arrest warrant, Otis Newcomb told officers he was looking down to change the radio.

Crash investigators from the Nebraska State Patrol determined Newcomb's van crossed into the westbound lane, causing the crash.

A sheriff's deputy "observed gouge marks and tire skid marks" consistent with that according to the affidavit.

In addition, court records indicate Newcomb's blood alcohol level was .113, which is over the legal limit.

The York County Attorney filed a felony charge of motor vehicle homicide, with the factor of a prior DUI conviction. Newcomb was also charged with manslaughter.

Bond is set at ten percent of $300,000.

Akerson was an assistant coach for the Aurora volleyball team that qualified for this week's state tournament.

Neighbors and friends helped Akerson's husband Steve with harvest.

He had this to say on Twitter: "The love and support shown by everyone has been amazing! So blessed to live in such a great community!"

Newcomb is set for a hearing on Wednesday in York County Court for a determination of preliminary hearing.

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