(GIBBON, NEB.) — Three people were killed and two others injured in a multiple vehicle crash on Interstate 80 near the Gibbon exit in Buffalo County.
The crash occurred around 4:22 p.m. Friday on eastbound I-80 (mm 286) one mile east of the Gibbon exit, when an eastbound semi in the driving lane blew a tire as it was being passed by a 2013 Chevy Silverado pickup. The semi, struck the pickup causing both vehicles to go through the median and into the westbound lanes of traffic. The semi, then struck the rear of a westbound semi, before continuing down the westbound lane and striking a 1989 Chevy K1500 pickup. The impact caused the second pickup to roll into the ditch where it burst into flames. The semi also rolled onto its side and caught fire. The Chevy Silverado pickup came to rest in the westbound driving lane. The second semi involved in the crash was able to continue on, stopping at the Gibbon exit.
The crash claimed the lives of the driver of the first semi and the driver and passenger in the second pickup. Due to the fiery nature of the crash, autopsies will be required to determine identification. The names of those killed will be released upon completion of autopsies and notification of family. The driver of the Chevy Silverado pickup, 60 year old Terry Purcell (M), Carter Lake, Iowa and a passenger, 55 year old Lisa Purcell (FM), also of Carter Lake, were both transported by ambulance to CHI Health Good Samaritan in Kearney with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the second semi, 42 year old Jake Hofer (M), Lynden, Washington, was not injured.
The crash closed a portion of I-80 for nearly 4 1/2 hours. The Nebraska State Patrol was assisted by the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office and Fire and Rescue units from Gibbon and Shelton.