Truck driver sentenced to 20 years in prison for I-80 accident

A 36 year old Illinois man convicted in the deaths of a family of four when his semi slammed into stopped traffic on Interstate 80 was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison.

Cheyenne County District Court Judge Derek Weimer sentenced Josef Slezak to five years in prison on each of four counts of motor vehicle homicide, each to be served consecutively. Slezak was also given 20-60 months in prison on one count of motor vehicle homicide involving an unborn child. The last sentence will run at the same time as the first four.

Slezak, a truck driver from Rivergrove Illionois, was charged after he allegedly fell asleep at the wheel of his semi in the early morning hours of September 9th one year ago. A family of four moving from Maryland to California, including the pregnant mother, were killed when the semi rear-ended their vehicle, which was stopped because of a previous crash.

Prosecutors believed Slezak traveled virtually straight through from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Cheyenne County prior to the accident.

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