Papers say fatal crash a suicide try — (The Lincoln Journal Star)

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The Lincoln Journal Star (NE)

December 20, 2002

Author: BUTCH MABIN, Lincoln Journal Star Lincoln Journal Star

Driver in head-on collision left will, note with a friend

Robin Siefker left a will and a suicide note with a friend.

Then he swallowed pills and tequila before driving his pickup the wrong way on Interstate 80, killing the 19-year-old driver of another car, according to court records filed Thursday.

Heather Poppe of Milford died instantly early Thanksgiving morning when her 1994 Mustang collided head-on with Siefker’s 1998 Dodge Ram, search warrant documents filed in Lancaster County District Court indicate.

Heather Poppe’s mother, Barbara Poppe of Kearney, said in an interview Siefker should face the most serious criminal charge in Nebraska law for her daughter’s death.

“If they don’t file murder one, I want to know why,” she said. “I would love to see him serve an 800-year sentence.”

Joe Kelly, chief deputy Lancaster County Attorney, said Thursday his office has made no decisions yet on filing charges against Siefker, who was injured in the collision.

The search warrants appeared to lend credence to speculation that Siefker, of Lincoln, had intended to kill himself.

In the hours before the collision, Lincoln police received a telephone call from a female friend of Siefker’s who said the man’s wife told her that he had threatened to kill himself earlier in the day, the search warrants indicated.

Siefker argued with his wife that day and afterward visited the friend, the documents stated. He gave the woman a briefcase he said contained instructions on dividing his property among his children, among other financial records, according to the court papers.

The woman later told authorities Siefker had a nearly full bottle of Jose Cuervo tequila in the truck and drove in a “crazy” manner.

Investigators learned later Siefker’s wife got a telephone call from him later that evening. Siefker told her he was calling because he “wanted her to know what dying feels like,” the affidavits stated. The documents also indicated he refused to tell her where he was.

His vehicle collided with Heather Poppe’s car just west of Lincoln at about 12:40 a.m. Nov. 28.

Siefker, who was thrown from the pickup, was treated at Bryan LGH Medical Center West. Hospital personnel found pills in the man’s stomach, the search warrants indicated.

Authorities recovered an empty tequila bottle and two bottles of prescription pills – Paxil and Wellbutrin – from Siefker’s pickup.

In addition, a search warrant executed on the briefcase left with Siefker’s friend uncovered a suicide note and will as well as tax and business records left in the care of his attorney.

Siefker’s actions continued to puzzle and anger Barbara Poppe Thursday.

“If he wanted to kill himself, why didn’t he go out and drive into a telephone pole, drink a bottle of Drano?” she asked. “I don’t feel sorry for the guy at this point.”

Reach Butch Mabin at 473-7234 or at

Record Number: MERLIN_962691
Copyright, 2002, Lincoln Journal Star