Pickup Driver Sentenced in Otsego School Bus Stop Crash
BUFFALO -- The driver of a pickup truck that struck and seriously injured three high school students in Otsego last January has been sentenced to 150 days in jail.
Twenty-three-year-old Cody Pech pleaded guilty to one count of criminal vehicular operation causing great bodily harm due to negligence last October. As part of a plea agreement, two other similar counts were dismissed.
According to Wright County court records, Pech told investigators he never saw the school bus stopped with its flashing lights or the teens who were about to board until it was too late.
Two of the students from Rogers High School were 15-years-old at the time and were hospitalized in critical condition. The third student was taken to the hospital in serious condition.
The bus driver and students on the bus told investigators the stop arm was extended and red lights were flashing on the bus when the pickup plowed into the students on the morning of January 19th, 2017. Pech said he slammed on his brakes but it was too late to avoid hitting the kids. The crash happened just before 7:00 a.m. and alcohol was not a factor in the crash.
Pech was sentenced to more than two years in prison but had the sentence stayed as long as he complies with the rules of probation for five years. If eligible, Pech will be able to serve the nearly five months in county jail as either work release or on a sentence-to-serve work crew.