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Forum News Service, Published September 27 2013

Kindred man charged with manslaughter, accused of texting in fatal crash

WEST FARGO – A 20-year old Kindred man has been charged with manslaughter in connection with a fatal car collision on Interstate 94 west of here two months ago, accused of texting and speeding at the time of the rear-end crash that killed a 61-year-old.

Royce Rodacker of Casselton was killed in the crash just before 6 a.m. Aug. 1 near mile marker 341 on I-94. Authorities said at the time that Rodacker’s pickup rolled after being struck from behind by a car driven by 20-year-old Nicholas Milbrandt.

Charges of manslaughter, a Class B felony, and reckless endangerment, a Class C felony, were filed against Milbrandt last week in Cass County District Court.

Court records say investigators believe Milbrandt was driving at a high speed and “sending and receiving text messages” when he read-ended the pickup.

Milbrant’s family declined to comment, and a reporter who visited the Rodacker family’s house in Casselton wasn’t able to reach a relative.

A summons was issued Friday for Milbrant’s first court appearance Oct. 11.