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Man receives probation for role in fatal crash

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Cass County Courthouse photo

PLATTSMOUTH – A La Vista man who was involved in a car crash that killed four people in Cass County in January 2021 will serve two years of probation.

Ronald A. Dubas, 57, appeared in Cass County Court on Friday for a sentencing hearing. Dubas pled guilty to four Class I misdemeanor counts of motor vehicle homicide earlier this year. The maximum charge for a Class I misdemeanor is one year in jail.

Dubas was driving northbound on Highway 75 south of Union on the evening of Jan. 31, 2021. A family from Topeka, Kan., was driving southbound at the same time. Ashly Bracken, 21; Tatiyana Wade, 22; Malaysia Reece, 4; Keniah Robinson, 5; and Tabitha Bracken, 20; were in the vehicle and were returning home from spending a weekend with family and friends.

Dubas’ Chevrolet truck crossed the center line of the highway twice before colliding with the Chevrolet Cobalt driven by Ashly Bracken. Wade, Reece, Robinson and Ashly Bracken were killed in the collision.

Tabitha Bracken was a passenger in the front seat and was seriously injured. She was transported to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in critical condition. She survived her injuries.

Dubas could have received a maximum of four years in jail if each of the sentences had been issued on a consecutive basis. Under the state’s “good time” law, the maximum sentences would have been reduced by 50 percent for a total of two years.

Judge David Partsch ordered Dubas to serve 21 days in Cass County Jail on the first charge. He will receive credit for one day he has already spent in jail. State law will reduce the total time to ten days.

Partsch ordered Dubas to spend 24 months on probation at the same time on all four charges. He will be required to complete 100 hours of community service over the next 700 days, and he will be prohibited from driving during probation. He must update probation officers on his medication management and individual therapy sessions on a monthly basis.

Dubas must complete a “Driving the Right Way” class and a victim empathy program during probation. He must also write letters of apology to the victims’ families and pay $1,794.55 in fines and court costs by Nov. 1, 2023.

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