The trucker who was responsible for the deaths of a family of four back in late 2012 has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. He pled no contest to four counts of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular homicide involving an unborn child, in exchange for which the prosecution dropped manslaughter charges.
The 37-year-old driver, Josef Slezak, was more than three hours over his HOS limit when he apparently fell asleep at the wheel and drove his rig into a line of stopped vehicles at 75 miles per hour. The two cars in front of him were occupied by the Schmidt family. The cars were slammed together and then forced under the trailer of the truck in front of them.
Traffic had come to a standstill when a truck had broken down and its driver had failed to pull it to the side of the road before stopping.
Despite dodging four additional manslaughter charges, Slezak will still serve 20 years in prison. He received the maximum allowable penalties for all the other charges leveled against him.