The truck driver that hit and killed West Platte football and wrestling coach Nate Danneman will serve 30 days in jail.
Carl D. Braddock, 64, of Geneva, Neb., entered a plea of guilty on a charge of careless and imprudent driving for the April 19, 2017 accident on Interstate 29 near Camden Point.
Braddock was sentenced to 365 days in the Platte County Detenion Center but had 335 days suspended. With credit given for time already served, Braddock will have a 22-day sentence to serve.
He was also placed on two years of supervised probation and was ordered to complete 300 hours of community service.
The criminal case against Braddock is now over but the civil case is still ongoing. Tabitha Danneman filed a personal injury lawsuit against Braddock, his employer Friends Freightways of Friend, Neb., and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.
Braddock is scheduled to give a disposition on the case on Aug. 14. A jury trial in Platte County with judge Thomas Fincham has been scheduled. A five-day trial is slated to start on Sept. 19.
According to court documents, Braddock was behind the wheel of a 2014 Freightliner tractor trailer, traveling northbound on I-29 in the right lane. He lost control of the truck and traveled off the right shoulder. He overcorrected, and the vehicle veered into the left lane and then the median, striking the cable barrier and entering the southbound lanes. The truck overturned and struck two vehicles, with debris hitting a third vehicle, and came to rest blocking both southbound lanes.
Danneman, 37, who was driving a 2014 Ford Focus in the southbound lanes, with his young daughter in the car, was found dead on the scene by Platte County deputies. The 4-year-old girl as well as two people in other vehicles suffered minor injuries in the crash.
“I was heading northbound in the slow lane,” Braddock said in a written statement provided to police. “I caught dog out of the corner of my eye. She was looking at me and I asked her, ‘what?’ I put my eye back on the road and I started swerving. I saw traffic coming towards me in the southbound side. After everything was done I noticed two automobiles. The guy who cut the rubber piece so I could get out.”
Braddock’s pet dog was in the truck with him at the time. He also admitted he was not wearing his seat belt, or the glasses he was required to wear as a restriction on his driver’s license.
Danneman’s death sparked a public outpouring of grief in the Weston community, with his funeral services held at Rudolph Eskridge Stadium at West Platte High School.
A graduate of Missouri Valley College, he coached football, wrestling, track and field and even tennis teams for 15 years. He became a football head coach for the first time at Drexel, Mo. before finding a home at West Platte after Chuck Siler’s retirement in 2013.
Danneman compiled a 20-28 record at West Platte, leading the Bluejays to Class 1 District 7 titles and quarterfinal appearances in 2013 and 2015 — both times going into a matchup as an underdog against highly ranked Hamilton. In both quarterfinal losses, West Platte came up just short of pulling a monumental upset.
In addition to head football coaching duties, Danneman was an assistant coach for wrestling and was in the chair in 2016 when Justin Rhodes became the first individual state champion in program history.