After fatal crash, texting driver sentenced to distracted driving campaign


Part of a North Dakota man's sentence for a fatal high-speed texting and driving crash last summer is a 100-day public appearance campaign about the dangers of distracted driving.

Nicholas Scott Milbrandt, 21, pleaded guilty to felony negligent homicide Tuesday in the death of 61-year-old Royce Rodacker, Forum News reports. Milbrandt was driving over 100 mph and texting when he rear-ended Rodacker on eastbound Interstate 94 near West Fargo on Aug. 1, 2013, reports say.

He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a two-year probation term that requires him to speak out publicly against distracted driving, Forum News says. The campaign involves the North Dakota Department of Transportation and Milbrandt, who will speak to school groups and possibly be involved in a television campaign, prosecutors told Forum News.

The sentence was a joint recommendation from prosecutors and the defense. Milbrandt's lawyer said his client is willing to do anything he can to warn against texting while driving.

After the crash, Milbrandt's lawyer said his client had been dealing with "emotional issues," according to the Jamestown Sun. In court Tuesday, Milbrandt said he was sorry for what he had done and "I took away someone's family member," Forum News says.

Milbrandt was charged last September in Cass County District Court with felony manslaughter and reckless endangerment, the Crookston Times says, but pleaded not guilty to those charges. He pleaded guilty to negligent homicide Tuesday, which holds a maximum penalty of five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.

Next Up

betty and earls biscuits facebook

Jason Matheson's biscuit shop to briefly close ahead of relaunch

Betty & Earl's will shut down for two weeks before reopening under a new name.

Simon Merino Go Fund Me

Worker dies in forklift accident at paper recycling business

The victim was described as a loving father of two who was devoted to his church.

rosie means - go fund me

Authorities ID woman killed by hit-and-run driver who ran red light

A fundraiser was created to support the family after the "sudden and senseless loss."

Prior Lake Football

Watch: Prior Lake stuns Rosemount with last-second hook and ladder

The Lakers dusted off an old favorite to get a victory on Thursday night.

unsplas - maple leaf frost fall lawn

MN gets its first frost advisories, freeze warnings of the season

The coldest spots could dip to below 30 degrees overnight.


Ahead of Big Ten clash, Huskers fans spend their Friday mocking PJ Fleck

Huskers fans are in a playful mood ahead of Saturday's game.

Jamal Smith

New 1st-degree murder charge for man accused in youth coach's killing

A grand jury indicted the suspect in connection with the shooting of Jay Boughton.

trick or treating halloween

COVID: Mayo Clinic's tips for staying safe while trick-or-treating

A layered approach, especially for those who aren't vaccinated, is recommended.


'My patience level is gone': Walz calls on lawmakers to help hospital strain

The governor said only legislators can enact some of the needed measures.


Jeep driver dies after hitting two deer, rolling into oncoming vehicle

As the SUV rolled, it struck another vehicle approaching the other direction.

carver county dog

Family's dog 'senselessly' killed with arrow in Carver County

The beloved dog was shot with an arrow on Tuesday.