(GIBBON, NEB.) — The Nebraska State Patrol has released the names of the three people killed in a fiery multiple vehicle crash on Interstate 80 on Friday, Sept. 23.
The crash, which occurred about a mile east of the Gibbon exit, claimed the lives of Donald S. Cox, 73, Columbia, Tenn., Tanner Allen, 20, Imperial and Christopher W. Bieber, 22, Holyoke, Colo.
Cox, was the driver of an eastbound semi- trailer truck. Allen was the driver of a 1989 Chevy pickup and Bieber was a passenger in the pickup.
“This was a horrific accident and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of everyone involved,” said Captain Chris Kolb, Commander Troop C- Grand Island. “We want to thank our law enforcement, fire and rescue partners for their assistance.”
The crash occurred around 4:22 p.m., Friday, Sept. 23, when an eastbound semi driven by Cox 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 pickup driven by Allen. The impact caused the 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 driven by Terry Purcell, 60, Carter Lake, Iowa came to rest in the westbound driving lane. The second semi, driven by Jake Hofer, 42, Lynden, Washington continued on to the Gibbon exit. Purcell and a passenger in his pickup Lisa Purcell, 55, Carter Lake, Iowa were both transported by ambulance to CHI Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney with non-life threatening injuries. Hofer, the driver of the second semi, was not injured.
The crash closed portions 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.