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A Crete man is set for sentencing after pleading no contest to motor vehicle homicide and careless driving for causing a crash in July that killed an Odell man. 

Troy A. Smith, 38, entered the plea Friday in Gage County Court in Beatrice.

The Nebraska State Patrol said Smith rear-ended a tractor on U.S. 77 north of Beatrice shortly before 8 p.m. July 1, killing the driver of the tractor, Robert Snyder Sr., 82, of Odell. 

The tractor was traveling with its hazard lights blinking and a slow traffic sign visible when the crash occurred, according to the accident report.

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Smith reportedly veered to avoid the tractor at the last second, striking the left side of the tractor and throwing Snyder from the vehicle. He died at the scene.

Investigators said Smith was distracted just prior to the crash. 

He faces up to a year in jail on the misdemeanor at his sentencing in January.

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