Teen Admits To Leaving Fatal Crash

Jake Wasikowski

Teen Admits To Leaving Fatal Crash

CREATED Dec. 13, 2012

A teenager leaves a courtroom, admitting she left the scene of a fatal crash in south Omaha.  Frank Huerta died because of the accident near 42nd and H St. on September 7th. 

Seventeen-year-old Mikala Rinehart detailed what happened in her eyes the night she got in the accident.  She was originally charged in adult court, but her case was moved to juvenile.  Huerta's family is upset that he was left for dead on the sidewalk. 

The 64-year-old former Marine was a father of four with numerous grandchildren.  Diane Nunez, Huerta’s daughter, says she didn't expect Rinehart to go to prison for her crime but wants her to take responsibility. 

"I think the biggest thing our family feels is that we haven't even received an apology, any communication from them,” Nunez described. “It seems like she gets to go on with her life and we get to deal with the loss of a father, brother, grandpa." 

Rinehart made an admission to her charge in Douglas County Juvenile Court on Thursday. 

“I was driving from my boyfriend’s house when something hit my windshield.  I didn’t know what it was,” Rinehart explained in court.  “I was scared and kept driving.  It was dark.” 

A passer-by found Huerta on the sidewalk, near dead.  Rinehart and her mother called police the next day when they saw news reports that someone was hit and killed.  She wasn't charged with his death, just leaving the scene. 

"This fellow had a .32 blood alcohol level which is four times the legal limit, and walked into the side of her car at night so there wasn't any responsibility for his death.  It was a responsibility that she did not stop," said Rinehart’s lawyer, William Gallup. 

Rinehart could be placed on probation, put in a group home, or go to the Youth Rehabilitation Center in Geneva, NE.  Her attorney says she'll likely get probation because she has no criminal history.  Her sentencing date hasn't been set.