KEARNEY — A California man wanted in connection with a Sept. 20 triple fatality near a construction zone on Interstate 80 near Gibbon is in custody.
Kenneth Kratt, 34, was arrested Friday, and today remained at the Madera County, Calif., Department of Corrections. He will be extradited to Buffalo County where he faces three charges of felony manslaughter in the unintentional deaths of Ryan Vanicek, 37, of Schuyler, Daniel Seelhoff, 50, of Lincoln and Scott Gaylord, 54, of Lincoln.
The charges accuse Kratt of reckless and willful reckless driving.
Kratt allegedly was driving a 2020 Peterbilt semitrailer 75 mph to 78 mph in the construction zone and first hit the rear of a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Vanicek that had slowed for traffic in the construction zone. The chain-reaction crashes allegedly caused the deaths of Vanicek and Seelhoff, both occupants of the Silverado that caught fire.
The third fatality allegedly reportedly happened when Kratt hit the rear of a 2019 Chevrolet Equinox, driven by Gaylord, causing it to go under the trailer of a 2019 Volvo semi.
In all, seven vehicles — the Peterbilt, Silverado, Equinox, Volvo, a 2010 Ford pickup, a 2007 Toyota Camry and a 2012 Chevrolet Impala — were involved in the crash.
Three other people sustained injuries in the crash, but none were considered to be life-threatening. Kratt wasn’t seriously injured.