Judge rejects plea deal in fatal I-94 crash

February 12 – MANDAN, ND – A Minnesota truck driver’s hope for a clean slate was dashed after a South Central District Court judge denied a plea deal Thursday in a case related to the fatal crash that claimed the life of Scott Walden.

Hashi Shire, who was behind the wheel of his Freightliner semi on a freezing, rainy March afternoon when he lost control of his vehicle, presumably while he was distracted, crossed the median and fatally blocked the path of another vehicle on I-94 , now face a criminal jury trial.

Shire was charged with a class C felony for manslaughter and a class A felony for aggravated reckless driving when a


he killed Walden and badly wounded his wife.

The deal, as before


would have suspended prosecution in the matter for a period of six months and would have provided Shire with an opportunity to have all charges dismissed and removed entirely from his criminal record.

Shire was a Minnesota resident at the time of his arrest. THE



North Dakota

Commercial driver’s license manuals use identical language to discourage operators from being dangerously distracted by cabin chatter.

“Mental distraction: Activities that take your mind off the road, such as engaging in conversation with a passenger or thinking about something that happened during the day,” both manuals state. “Do not engage in complex or emotionally intense conversations with other occupants.”

Defense attorney Thomas A. Dickson filed a brief supporting the preliminary diversion agreement.

“The State and Defense both agree that the preemptive diversion agreement entered into is appropriate based on the evidence in this case. In consideration of the proposed agreement, Mr. Shire paid Ms. Walden’s medical bills in the amount of $1,342 .16,” Dickson said in the brief, who also noted that Walden is the plaintiff in a pending civil suit against Shire.

South Central District Court Judge Pam Nesvig denied the proposed order on Thursday, February 9, on the grounds that it did not provide sufficient justice to the victims involved.

“The Court, having considered that settlement and holding that the provision requested in the settlement is not in the best interests of justice based on the victim impact statement,” began Nesvig’s order, before denying the plea deal .

A criminal jury trial is expected to begin tentatively on Wednesday, February 15.

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