Manslaughter conviction in Buffalo County triple-fatality

Sept 2019 crash killed three people on I-80
Kenneth Kratt stands convicted of manslaughter for a 2019 fatal crash near Gibbon.
Kenneth Kratt stands convicted of manslaughter for a 2019 fatal crash near Gibbon.(Madera County, CA, Dept. of Corrections)
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 4:52 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - A California man was convicted of manslaughter Tuesday in connection with three traffic deaths from a September 2019 crash on Interstate 80 near Gibbon.

Kenneth Kratt, 36, of Madera, California, was charged with three counts of felony manslaughter in Buffalo County. On Tuesday he pleaded no contest to all three counts and was convicted in Buffalo County District Court.

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. Scott Gaylord, 54, of Lincoln was in a separate vehicle and was also killed.

Kratt will be sentenced Dec. 15 and could get up to 60 years in prison.

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