(Neb)-Fired State Trooper Charged In 2016 Traffic Death
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Special Sheridan County prosecutor Joe Stecher has filed charges against former Nebraska state trooper Tim Flick in connection with a 2016 fatal line-of-duty traffic accident that helped trigger investigations that rocked the State Patrol and resulted in the firing of Supt Colonel Brad Rice.
Stecher, a former U-S Attorney now in private practice in Harrison, charged Flick with two misdemeanors, motor-vehicle homicide and making a false statement under oath, as well as the infraction of careless driving.
Stecher declines to discuss his investigation or provide details of the charges, filed in Sheridan County Court on Wednesday. He chose to simply cite and not arrest Flick, who will be arraigned in two weeks on March 8th. He has been working part-time as a Dawes County Sheriff's deputy since his firing in Dec.
Omaha attorney David Domina is representing Flick and told the Omaha World Herald that the former trooper "will respectfully and vigorously defend himself against these charges."
The charges stem from Flick's role in the October 2016 high-speed chase of an intoxicated motorist in Sheridan County that ended with the fleeing driver, 32-year old Pine Ridge Reservation resident Antoine LeDeaux, crashing and dying.
Flick can be heard on video from his dashboard camera saying he used a Tactical Vehicle Intervention, a move that's meant to bump a fleeing vehicle in order to get it to safely spin out, but his formal report said that LeDeaux actually struck the cruiser before Flick could institute the maneuver.
The patrol's top accident reconstructionist later concluded Flick had completed the tactic and that a coverup had been instituted by his superiors. The incident was one of two from the Panhandle that led to a review of Patrol internal investigations that resulted in Flick, Rice, and several top officers being fired, reassigned, demoted, or retiring at different times last year.
A Sheridan County grand jury that looked into the crash concluded in December 2016 that no wrong-doing had occurred and no charges should be filed. Stecher's new review concludes that testimony Flick gave to the grand jury was false.
The State Troopers Association, the union representing the agency's rank-and-file officers, maintains that Flick's report was accurate and that he was unjustly fired. Union spokesman Tera Johnson told KNEB radio that Flick was made a scapegoat, and she organized a GoFundMe page that raised over $11,000 to help the Flick family cover expenses
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