William Howard Baker, 60, will stand trial for the August 2014 vehicular deaths of a Reno County couple in Great Bend. Shawn Schellenger, 27, and his wife Danielle Schellenger, 33, where riding a motorcycle on Aug. 16, 2014, when the trailer Baker was towing came loose from his pickup and crossed into their lane on West 10th Street in Great Bend. Both died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident.
Baker, of Great Bend, is charged with two felony counts of involuntary manslaughter, along with four traffic infractions. At his preliminary hearing in December, Barton County Attorney Douglas Matthews introduced testimony and evidence showing Baker knew there was no safety chain attached to the trailer and there were no tie-downs holding a lawn mower on the trailer.
Through his attorney, Baker entered a plea of not guilty and requested a jury trial. It has been set for May 2-6.
Meanwhile, a civil suit has been filed on behalf of the Schellengers’ heirs. The suit in Barton County District Court seeks an unspecified amount “in excess of $75,000” on each count of wrongful death. Baker and his business, HB Landscaping, are named in the suit.