A Florida truck driver that caused a fatal crash in Columbus, Nebraska in August had a long criminal history, according to the Columbus Telegram. John Abbate, 47, has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of motor vehicle homicide for his role in a three-car crash that killed one man and injured another. Just before 6pm on August 10th, Abbate reportedly slammed into the back of an SUV stopped at a traffic light, pushing the car into a vehicle driven by David Eller. Eller, a 56-year-old rural Columbus man, was pronounced dead on the scene. The driver of the SUV, Roger Gentrup, was transported to the Columbus Community Hospital and was released after treatment.
Abbate reportedly has a ‘rap’ sheet from the last two decades that includes arrests spanning six states. His arrests include robbery in New York in 1990, witness intimidation in Colorado in 1995 and 1996, driving under the influence in Florida in 1999, nine months in jail in 1999 in Florida for felony assault and battery on a law enforcement officer, possession of a controlled substance in New York in 2003, and being a fugitive from justice in New Jersey, Florida, and Texas from 2004 to 2007, according to reports. Abbate’s bond was originally placed at 10 percent of $150,000 but was amended by the judge to 10 percent of $50,000. Abbate’s charges, which are a Class I misdemeanor, carry a maximum of one year imprisonment and/or a $1,000.
Trucks are large and difficult to maneuver, and thus are inherently dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 74,000 people were injured and 3,380 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2009. If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking or automobile accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Contact a dedicated trucking accident attorney to see if you are eligible to pursue legal recourse and seek damages for your trucking injury. Fill out a free, no-risk case evaluation form today. Our attorneys can help with all kinds of investigations, including those into drowsy driving.