88-year-old driver pleads guilty in Jennie Robak's Hy-Vee parking lot death - Omaha.com
Published Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:00 am / Updated at 3:20 pm
88-year-old driver pleads guilty in Jennie Robak's Hy-Vee parking lot death

LINCOLN — An 88-year-old Lincoln woman who was behind the wheel of an SUV that backed over and killed former State Sen. Jennie Robak was charged Wednesday with careless driving.

Imogene Bruce pleaded guilty to the traffic infraction during a court appearance Wednesday afternoon.

Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly said his review of the incident led him to conclude that it did not warrant a more serious charge, such as motor vehicle homicide.

“Without a doubt, it was not intentional,” the county attorney said. “It was a tragedy.”

Bruce, according police, appeared to have stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake when people in the parking lot of a Hy-Vee supermarket began shouting that a pedestrian was behind her vehicle.

Robak, 81, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident last month.

Kelly said he was told that Bruce had already voluntarily surrendered her driver's license to the state.

Robak represented Columbus in the Nebraska Legislature from 1989 to 2003. One of her daughters, Kim, served as lieutenant governor under Gov. Ben Nelson.

Kim Robak, now a Lincoln lobbyist, said she respected Kelly's decision to file a charge against the elderly driver, but that her family would have been all right with no charges being filed.

“It's just heartbreaking,” Robak said. “I feel for her.”

Contact the writer: Paul Hammel

paul.hammel@owh.com    |   402-473-9584    |  

Paul covers state government and affiliated issues and helps coordinate the same.

Read more related stories
Video: Stothert says Crossroads project is 'full speed ahead,' but she won't support bond issue
'Fairly old' human skull found in Mills County
World champion Crawford's promoter working to have title defense at CenturyLink Center
Police i.d. body found near 36th, Seward Streets
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
Omaha crash victim, 19, had touched many lives
Firefighters take on 'fully engulfed barn fire'
Council Bluffs school board approves new district headquarters
Officials announce effort to lure more veterans to Nebraska
SB 132nd Street lane closed
Shane Osborn grabs several endorsements
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Omaha area may get 1 inch of rain tonight
Gov. Heineman vetoes bill to ease restrictions on nurse practitioners
Nebraska banking and finance director to retire
Waitress who served alcohol to teen before fatal crash gets jail time, probation
Owners of exotic dance bar deny prostitution allegations
More Nebraskans are electing to vote early
A day after Ricketts endorsement, Ted Cruz backs Sasse for Senate
TD Ameritrade says profit up 35 percent in second quarter
Some city streets remain closed
Nebraska's U.S. Senate candidates stick to familiar topics at Omaha forum
19-year-old killed in one-vehicle crash at 72nd & Shirley
8% of alcohol sellers checked in Omaha area last week sold booze to minors
< >
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
The idea that Paul Hogan had studied and then hatched at his mother's table was that older people, rather than moving in with relatives or to an assisted-living center, would much prefer to stay home instead.
Breaking Brad: Nebraska GOP candidates unified against naked squirrels
Some of these Nebraska campaigns are tilting pretty far right. At a recent forum, there was a consensus that we need to ban public dancing and clothe naked squirrels in public parks.
Breaking Brad: Inside the mind of a 99-year-old real estate agent
I saw an article about a 99-year-old real estate agent who's still working. “This house is extra special. It has indoor toilets!”
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a child climbed inside a claw machine. Hey, Florida kid: Nobody likes a copycat.
Breaking Brad: Even Chuck Hassebrook's throwing mud!
The Nebraska campaigns have turned so ugly, Democrat Chuck Hassebrook lobbed unfounded accusations at an imaginary opponent.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Tokyo Sushi
$5 for $10 or $10 for $20 toward All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Purchase
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »