Driver of Semi Charged in Fatal Lake Elmo Crash Will Be Allowed to Drive While on Bail

March 02, 2018 06:32 PM

The driver of a semi accused of looking at his phone in the moments prior to a fatal crash Tuesday in Lake Elmo will be allowed to drive while out on bail, a Washington County judge ruled Friday morning.

Prosecutors had asked that Samuel Wayne Hicks, 28 of Independence, Wisconsin, not be allowed to drive. But the judge disagreed, saying if his driver's license was valid he should be permitted to do so.

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Bail for Hicks was set at $60,000 without conditions and $20,000 with. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 19.

The crash Tuesday at Highway 36 and Lake Elmo Avenue killed 54-year-old business owner and biology instructor Robert Bursik of Amery, Wisconsin. 

RELATED: 'Enough is Enough': State Officials Call for End to Distracted Driving

Hicks is facing a criminal vehicular homicide charge after video footage from the truck reportedly showed him looking down at his phone for the eight seconds preceding the crash, according to the Washington County Attorney's Office.

According to the criminal complaint, Hicks admitted he had been texting with his girlfriend and using an app while driving along Highway 36, a route he said he traveled about once a week for work. 

RELATED: Semi Driver was Looking at Phone at Time of Fatal Lake Elmo Crash, Charges Say

The state patrol was later provided video from a camera mounted on the semi that showed split-screen footage from both a forward-facing and a rear-facing lens. The rear-facing lens showed the inside of the cab, and the forward-facing lens showed the road ahead. 

According to the complaint, Hicks's phone was in his right hand for the duration of the video, and he was looking down at the phone for the eight seconds preceding the crash.

RELATED: Authorities ID Victim of Fatal Crash in Lake Elmo


 

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