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Grand jury issues new
charges in fatal crash

by Valerie Verkamp
Landmark assistant editor

A grand jury issued a superseding indictment Friday, Sept. 26 charging a man who allegedly struck another vehicle head on killing a woman and injuring her son with several new counts.

The indictment comes 11 months after the Platte County Prosecutor's Office charged Adam Shaw, 50, of Springfield, with involuntary manslaughter in the first degree, two charges of assault, and three charges of armed criminal action.

Separate and distinct from the initial charges, the new counts allege Shaw drove recklessly but do not allege the defendant was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Should the case go to trial, a jury could find Shaw guilty of the more severe set of charges or the alternative charges handed down in the superseding indictment.

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said the jury could either find him guilty of any the original charges or the alternative counts, but the jury cannot convict him on both sets of charges. The jury obviously also has the authority to find him not guilty.

So far, no trial date has been set. Shaw remains in custody on a cash-only $250,000 bond.

The fatal accident occurred October 29, 2013 in the northbound lane on Hwy. 45, just south of Farley. Authorities say while operating a 2013 Freightliner semi-truck, Shaw crossed the center line and struck Catherine Nienaber, 49, of Kansas City, Kan.

Nienaber died at the scene of the accident. Her seven year old son, Gerard Nienaber, was hospitalized with serious injuries.

Rodney Griffin, 52, of Atchison, Kan. was also struck and transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Following the accident, Shaw was taken into custody. According to court documents, Shaw's blood alcohol content was allegedly .116, above the legal limit of .08.

In addition to criminal charges, a wrongful death suit has been filed against Adam Shaw, Performance Transportation L.L.C, and Performance Food Group Inc. Court records indicate a settlement hearing is scheduled on Friday, Oct. 31.