Lincoln woman enters plea in fatal hit-and-run of pedestrian near 10th and South

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A 22-year-old Lincoln woman who fatally struck a pedestrian crossing near 10th and South streets in 2019 is set for sentencing following a plea deal with prosecutors, who Tuesday sought to revoke her bond over another crash at the same intersection last month.

At a hearing by Zoom, Casey Maxfield pleaded no contest to leaving the scene of a crash causing serious bodily injury and motor vehicle homicide while careless or negligent driving. 

She now faces up to five years of imprisonment at her sentencing in February for the Oct. 18, 2019, crash that took the life of 41-year-old Tina Mortensen of Lincoln.

Deputy Lancaster County Attorney Erica Pruess said Mortensen was crossing 10th Street from the parking lot of an auto parts store with a friend when she was struck by Maxfield’s Pontiac Grand Prix just before 8:30 that night.

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Mortensen’s friend called 911, saying the car that hit her drove through the intersection at South Street without slowing, stopping or braking. Mortensen died at the scene.

Pruess said, based on part numbers from a piece of a headlight found at the scene, police narrowed the suspect vehicle down to a mid-2000s maroon Pontiac Grand Prix by the time Maxfield turned herself in, just before 3 a.m.

In court records, police said she told them she knew she hit someone, but she panicked and fled. 

After she learned the woman died, she put a rock on the gas pedal and put her vehicle into a ditch near Salt Creek off a parking lot along North 70th Street, Pruess said.

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Maxfield, who is nearsighted, hadn’t been wearing her glasses at the time and her license was suspended.

At the end of Tuesday’s hearing, Pruess sought to revoke Maxfield’s bond over an injury crash Dec. 21 at the same intersection. Maxfield, who still doesn’t have a valid license, wasn’t supposed to be driving as a condition of her bond. 

According to a crash report, she was driving west on South Street when she hit a woman driving a Subaru through a green light on 10th Street. Both drivers were injured. Pruess said not only was Maxfield driving, she was in a crash and wasn’t forthcoming initially with the officers. 

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“For her to be driving again and to get into another accident, I do have concerns for the safety of the community,” the prosecutor said. 

Maxfield’s attorney, John Ball, said she at first had a bit of a panic reaction, but did fully admit she was driving in the most recent crash. He called it an isolated incident that upset her.

District Judge Robert Otte didn’t immediately make a ruling but said he was inclined to revoke her bond. 

“Clearly there is a danger here,” he said.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger.

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