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Truck driver in 2016 Interstate 80 crash that killed 6 sentenced to 180 days in jail

Tony Weekly Jr.
Tony Weekly Jr. speaks Friday at his sentencing in Keith County District Court.

OGALLALA, Neb. — As Cedrick Pals spoke in Keith County District Court on Friday, family members and others in attendance, including jail inmates, wiped tears from their eyes.

Pals’ son, Jamison, 29, died on Interstate 80 near Brule nearly two years ago, on July 31, 2016. So did his daughter-in-law, Kathryne, 29, and his grandchildren Ezra, 3; Violet, 23 months; and Calvin, 2 months.

But as Cedrick Pals spoke to Tony Weekly Jr., the truck driver convicted of six counts of motor vehicle homicide, he read Bible verses about forgiveness

In addition to the Pals family, from the Twin Cities area in Minnesota, the crash killed Terry Sullivan, 56, of Denver, who was in another vehicle.

In part because of Cedrick Pals’ words and the family’s request for mercy, Weekly was sentenced Friday to a combined two years’ probation and 180 days in jail on three felony and three misdemeanor charges, and an additional charge of misdemeanor reckless driving. He received credit for 30 days already served. He will begin serving the jail time in two weeks.

Weekly, of Florida, gave his own tearful statement, telling the court that the crash affects him to this day.

Some days, “I can’t go to work,” he said.

After the sentencing, Pals and Weekly hugged outside the courtroom. They and their families chatted before parting ways.

“I didn’t know grief could be so intense, so constant,” Pals said in his testimony. “I will never again hear Jamison say, ‘I love you, Dad.’ ”

“Despite the anguish, there are other words that come to me,” Pals said.

He listed “forgiveness” and “mercy” among them.

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“Revival begins in the individual’s heart. Let it begin with you on your face alone before God. Turn from every sin that might hinder. Renew yourself to a new devotion to the Savior.”

 

“The truth of the matter is that the devil is not terribly frightened of our human efforts and credential. But he knows his kingdom will be damaged when we lift up our hearts to God.”

~ Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, 56.

“The key to Christian living is a thirst and hunger for God. And one of the main reasons people do not understand or experience the sovereignty of grace and the way it works through the awakening of sovereign joy is that their hunger and thirst for God is too small.”

~ John Piper

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Ravi Zacharias

“I think the reason we sometimes have the false sense that God is so far away is because that is where we have put him. We have kept him at a distance, and then when we are in need and call on him in prayer, we wonder where he is. He is exactly where we left him.”

“Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering…. The love of God did not protect His own Son…. He will not necessarily protect us – not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.”

~ Elisabeth Elliot

Margaret Ashmore Drawing of Elisabeth Elliot

“Silence promotes the presence of God, prevents many harsh and proud words, and suppresses many dangers in the way of ridiculing or harshly judging our neighbors… If you are faithful in keeping silence when it is not necessary to speak, God will preserve you from evil when it is right for you to talk.”

~ Francois Fenelon (1651-1715), Selections from Fenelon

François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon.PNG

“Be patient in the mundane activities of life. God is still working. Whatever you do in secret, God will reveal in public.”

~ Christine Caine

“We are dependent upon God for even our sense of worth as individuals. Our uniqueness and dignity are rooted in our creation in the image of God. Our value is not tied to wealth, status, accomplishments, or position. It is a gift. Obviously, this wonderful truth flies in the face of the modern technology to define people by what they produce or what they have…

The terrible reality of the Fall was… a repudiation of our dependence upon God.”

~ Richard J. Foster, Freedom of Simplicity

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