Sentencing in Fatal Motorcycle Crash

After being convicted of killing a motorcyclist in an April crash, a man was sentenced to prison last Tuesday.

Judge Russell Derr sentenced Joseph Madej to 19 to 20 years in prison for motor vehicle homicide and another 3 for driving under the influence. The sentences will run concurrently. With good behavior, Madej can be out in as little as nine years.

Madej pleaded guilty to the charges in August.

The accident occurred back in April. Prosecutors say that Madej was high on marijuana and painkillers when he ran a red light at 41st and Madison in Omaha, Nebraska.

He slammed into Daniel and Patricia McDonald, who were on a motorcycle. Daniel McDonald would not survive his injuries. Patricia McDonald was left critically injured.

In court, the widow spoke about her family and addiction. They hoped that Madej would use this tragedy as a wake-up call.

Judge Derr gave Madej the maximum sentence. According to his record, Madej had at least three pending drug cases against him at the time of the crash.

Madej’s attorney argued that his client was attempting to get help for his addiction.

Madej had been accepted into drug court, but problems with paperwork in Sarpy County delayed his possible treatment. His attorney argued that if not for those problems, the accident might not have happened.

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