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August 29, 2014

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Trucker pleads guilty in Nevada triple-fatal crash

ELKO, Nev. — A Virginia truck driver has pleaded guilty to three counts of involuntary manslaughter after authorities said he collided with a disabled car in northeast Nevada and killed a couple and a tow truck driver.

Defendant Samuel Rosenbaum entered his pleas in district court on Monday to one count each in the deaths of Michael Bogue, 64, and Marilyn Bogue, 54, of Spokane, Wash., and Jesse John Pengelly, 20, of Wells.

Judge Al Kacin set sentencing for June 2.

Prosecutors said Rosenbaum, 54, of Abingdon, Va., was driving a semi-trailer truck about 30 miles south of Wells when he ran into the back of a Buick Skylark and sent it flying into the tow truck along U.S. Highway 93 in 2011.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys intend to recommend that Rosenbaum serve four years in prison with parole possible after 19 months, the Elko Daily Free Press reported.

Rosenbaum acknowledged he had been speeding and exceeded his maximum driving time allowed as a commercial driver because he had been in an earlier accident and was running late on his route.

"My log book was behind," he told the judge.

The couple and their dog were in the car to keep warm, and Pengelly was operating the tow truck rollback controls when the crash occurred at 3:20 a.m., the Nevada Highway Patrol said.

The couple had been stranded after a wheel fell off their car on the high-desert highway in southern Elko County, the patrol said.

Rosenbaum said he had been "blinded" by the tow-truck lights just before the crash. He said he slammed on his brakes and his truck slid more than 200 feet into the other vehicles.

"I tried to stop," he said.

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