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.”