Semi truck driver accused of killing 3-year-old, father on I-69 heading to trial

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FLINT (WJRT) (8/9/2018) - Dalibot Sakotic, of Texas, will stand trial on three charges tied to the death of Cody Thomas and his 3-year-old daughter Aria.

The two were riding in the backseat of a car, on westbound I-69 March 14th, when Sakotic's semi truck hit them from behind.

Witnesses testified that the crash sounded like an explosion.

George Horn, who's vehicle was also hit, went to render aid to the Thomas family and said it looked like Cody was the driver because the impact of the crash had pushed him so far forward.

On the stand Thursday, Horn explained he used to ride his motorcycle quite a bit, so he often checks his rear view mirror. And he said, on this particular day, as traffic was slowing down, he remembered being worried Sakotic was not going to slow down.

Horn explained after he was hit, he and a man in a military uniform worked to get the Thomas's car door open to rescue 3-year-old Aria.

"There was a child in a car seat up close to the window and we were - the door would not open because of the damage. So we - we couldn't break the window because the child's face was close to the window," he told the Judge.

A crash reconstructionist with Michigan State Police also took the stand Thursday.

He explained he wasn't asked to make any determinations as to what happened, just gather data at the scene.

Shortly after, a Judge ruled the testimony from him, the first police officer on scene, two drivers who witnessed the crash and the Thomas's cousin who was also injured in the crash is enough to send the case to trial.

"Nobody can dispute the tragic nature of this accident, but indeed it's an accident; and, that's why you see advertisements on TV everyday for truck accidents," defense attorney Frank Manley said, "Not every single one of those collisions is a crime and its our position that it was an accident."

Dalibot Sakotic will face a jury on two counts of manslaughter with a motor vehicle and reckless driving causing serious impairment of a body function.

His request for bond and a GPS tether was denied.

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