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Published January 06 2010

Fatal bus crash trial delayed until Feb. 1

The trial for a Moorhead man who faces charges linked to a fatal bus crash that killed an area teenager last spring has been delayed until next month.

Loren Ernst was behind the wheel on April 5, 2008, when a bus carrying high school band members from Pelican Rapids, Minn., on Interstate 94 near Albertville, Minn., left the road and tipped over, killing 16-year-old Jessica Weishair.

Ernst faces three criminal vehicular charges, two of them felonies, in a case that had been set to go to trial starting Monday.

Due to a family conflict for Ernst, the trial’s start date was moved by the judge to Feb. 1, said Wright County Assistant Attorney Brian Lutes.

Lutes and Ernst’s attorney attempted to cut a plea deal this fall, without success. On Tuesday, Lutes said there hasn’t been any further discussion of a deal since negotiation fell apart in October.