Criminal charges will be filed related to Sunday’s double-fatality crash in Otoe County. The driver alleged to be at fault in the crash has been identified as Rickie E. Anthony, age 54 of Douglas County. At approximately 11 p.m. on Sunday night law enforcement investigators located Anthony in Falls City, where he had been temporarily residing. The SUV involved in the collision was registered to Armbruster Chevrolet, a car dealer located in Falls City, and had been loaned to a female acquaintance of Anthony’s. When the female was contacted Sunday night by law enforcement investigators she informed them that Anthony was driving the SUV from Falls City to Omaha on Sunday evening to visit family.
Based on statements made by witnesses to the crash and by a crash reconstruction during the investigation, it is believed that the northbound SUV driven by Anthony crossed the centerline of Highway 75, continuing across the southbound lane of traffic and onto the southbound shoulder of the highway. The pickup driven by Michael Curry and occupied by his wife, Rachel Curry, and daughter Chloe Curry, is believed to have taken evasive action moving across the center line and into the northbound lane of traffic. The two vehicles collided near the center of the roadway as Anthony’s SUV swerved back toward the northbound lane causing extensive damage to the passenger sides of both vehicles and resulting in the deaths of Chloe Curry, age 15, and Rachel Curry, her step-mother. Michael Curry survived the crash and was treated at the hospital for injuries.
Witnesses indicated that the SUV driver left the scene on foot. At approximately 11 p.m. on Sunday night Nebraska State Patrol investigators contacted Anthony in Falls City, where he indicated he had received a ride. Investigators continue to seek whomever may have transported Anthony to Falls City. Anthony received medical treatment, a blood sample was drawn, and he was taken into custody and transported to the Otoe County detention center. Blood test results are not yet available. The involvement of alcohol in the crash is still under investigation.
Anthony was booked into the Otoe County detention center on Monday afternoon with the charges being one count of Leaving the Scene of a Fatality Crash (a Class III Felony punishable by a maximum four years imprisonment), two counts of Motor Vehicle Homicide involving Reckless or Willful Reckless Driving (Class IIIA Felonies punishable by a maximum of three years imprisonment each), and one count of Willful Reckless Driving (a Class III misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in jail). Additionally Anthony’s Nebraska Operator’s License could be suspended for a period ranging from one to fifteen years if he is convicted of these crimes. The Otoe County Attorney's Office will file these initial charges with the Otoe County Court and will continue to review the evidence as it is submitted by investigators. Anthony is expected to be arraigned in the Otoe County Court on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, at which time a bond would also be set. Anthony's specific appearance time has not yet been scheduled.