Archive for Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Trial date set in case against truck’s driver

December 24, 2003

For the first time, the alleged second driver in an October fatality accident appeared in Leavenworth County District Court on citations that he denied aid to a wounded person.

Brett Bidnick was cited in district court with failing to render assistance to an injured person, failure to report an injury accident, failure to report an accident by quickest means and driving with a suspended license.

The citations stem from a vehicle accident Oct. 8. Bidnick, driving a 4x4 truck, allegedly struck a vehicle driven by Kevin Swope, a 22-year-old Basehor man, at the intersection of Kansas Highway 32 and 166th Street.

Swope died as result of injuries sustained in the crash. Bidnick fled the accident scene on foot.

Bidnick appeared in court for the first time Wednesday, Dec. 17.

The Wednesday hearing was a continuance from a previous one because Bidnick failed to appear. Judge Gunner Sundby told Bidnick's attorney, Ed Gillete, his client was to appear Wednesday in district court, which he did.

Sundby set Bidnick's trial for 10 a.m. Feb. 4, 2004. The judge will decide the case instead of a jury, prosecutors said.

David Milton will prosecute the case for Leavenworth County.

Bidnick faces other traffic related charges in district court, as well.

On Jan. 8, he will stand trial on charges of driving under the influence, his second such arrest, Basehor police said, and driving with a suspended license.

The Jan. 8 trial is an appeal of convictions Bidnick received in Basehor Municipal Court. There, a judge found Bidnick guilty on charges of driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.

The charges stem from a February accident at the intersection of 155th Street and U.S. Highway 24/40.

Police said Bidnick misled officers to believe his passenger was the driver during the accident in Basehor. After questioning, police determined Bidnick the driver.

Earlier this month, Judge Frederick Stewart suppressed statements Bidnick made to police but did not throw out eyewitness testimony naming Bidnick as the driver in question.

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