A Kansas woman has pled guilty to careless and imprudent driving in an August car wreck that killed a Weston man. Gabriella K. Rozman, 26, of Atchison, crossed the centerline and collided with a car driven by Edward M. Kirk, who was killed in the crash.
Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said, “This was a horrible tragedy. Ed Kirk was a man who had served his country, had a great career with the railroad, and had just beaten cancer.”
Many friends and family addressed the Court on behalf of Kirk at the April 14 guilty plea and sentencing. Kirk's brother, Dr. Raymond Kirk, of Houston, Texas, told the Court that most of all he wanted to see Rozman held accountable for her actions.
Associate Circuit Judge Gary Witt ordered Rozman's sentence to be suspended and placed her on two years probation. A condition of her probation is that she perform community service by speaking to high school students about the dangers of careless driving.
According to Zahnd, Rozman was driving north on Highway 45 on August 5, 2007 at approximately 11:40 a.m. when she crossed the centerline and struck a vehicle driven by Kirk.
Contrary to earlier reports, Zahnd said there was no evidence to establish that Rozman was using her cell phone at the time of the collision. In addition, blood test results showed that Rozman did not have any drugs or alcohol in her system at the time of the crash.
Zahnd said, "Although there was no evidence that alcohol, drug, or cell phone use caused this crash, there is no question that this woman's actions behind the wheel caused a young man's death. My hope is that requiring her to talk with high students about this terrible tragedy may help prevent other disastrous wrecks in the future."
The case was investigated by the Platte County Sheriff’s Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Robin Threlkeld.