By: Hannah Paczkowski
It's been nearly two weeks since a car crash took the life of 31-year-old Lauren Akerson. A teacher and volleyball coach, who friends say, was loved by her community.
"She loved her students. When a tragedy like this happens, it's going to take time," Megan Vetter said.
Time that 37-year-old Otis Newcomb could be serving if convicted. He appeared in court Wednesday to be assigned an attorney.
In less than a month, Otis Newcomb will be right here, back in court for his preliminary hearing. He's facing two felony charges, aggravated motor vehicle homicide and manslaughter.
Toxicology tests showed Newcomb had a blood alcohol level of .113 at the time of the accident, which is .08 over the legal limit.
He was also driving for his job. The publisher from the York News-Times told us Newcomb was driving a company van picking up newspapers from a printing facility in Grand Island.
The paper released a statement saying:"The York News–Times employees are grieving over the loss of Mrs. Akerson. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lauren's family, friends and to her students and fellow faculty in Aurora."
This isn't the first time Newcomb was accused of drinking and driving. He was convicted in Hamilton County in 2007, the same county Lauren lived in.
In times like these, her friends said they stick together to help cope with their loss.
"We just stay within our bubble to help deal with it because we still don't understand," Adriane Ohlson said.
Lauren's husband, Steve Akerson was present for today's hearing, but he did not want to comment at this time.