Photo courtesy Nebraska State Patrol
Benkelman, Neb. — A collision between a semi and a Nebraska State Patrol Unit south of Benkelman injured the semi driver while a State Trooper apparently escaped injury. Authorities were summoned to the crash on Monday at 1:18 p.m. MDT/ 2:18 p.m. CDT.
The Dundy County Sheriff’s Office says initial investigation indicates the State Patrol Unit was northbound on Highway 34 & 61 and the southbound semi may have crossed the center line and side-swiped the State Patrol vehicle.
Deputy Morgan Burrell says the Trooper’s vehicle ended up in the guardrail and the driver of the semi, loaded with dry distillers grain, went over an embankment and rolled in an alfalfa field.
The driver of the semi was taken to the Dundy County Hospital in Benkelman. His condition is not available at this time. The crash occurred at the viaduct just south of Benkelman where the Highway is raised over the train tracks.
Benkelman Fire Department & Benkelman EMS responded to the scene. Both vehicles were towed from the scene. It’s believed both vehicles are totaled.
The Sheriff’s Office and Benkelman authorities closed one lane at a time while maintaining traffic and dealing with the injured semi driver as well as removing the semi & trooper vehicle.
(Nebraska State Patrol story below that includes Monday’s crash of semi and State Patrol cruiser south of Benkelman)
Third NSP Cruiser Hit in the Last Month
North Platte, Neb. — July 17, 2018 — For the third time in less than a month, an NSP cruiser has been hit by another vehicle.
The latest incident occurred in the afternoon hours of Monday, July 16, when a trooper was traveling northbound on Highway 34 near Benkelman when his cruiser was struck by a southbound semi. The trooper did not suffer serious injuries, but the other driver was transported to the hospital. The Dundy County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash.
“We want our troopers to safely make it home to their families after each shift, just like we want all drivers to be safe on the road,” said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “Please use caution on Nebraska roads and look out for your fellow drivers.”
Monday’s crash follows two others within the last month. In each of the other cases, the NSP cruiser was stopped at the time of the crash. The latest occurred in the afternoon of Friday, July 13, when a trooper was on a traffic stop on Highway 275 near Beemer.
During the traffic stop, an oncoming vehicle crossed over both lanes of traffic and struck the vehicle that the trooper had stopped. That vehicle then hit the NSP cruiser. The trooper was inside the cruiser at the time and was uninjured, but multiple people in the other vehicles were transported to area hospitals with non-life-threatening conditions. The Cuming County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the investigation of the crash.
The first crash occurred on June 17 when a trooper was stopped at a temporary stoplight in a construction zone on Highway 20 in Cedar County. The trooper was struck from behind by another car. The trooper suffered minor injuries, but the other driver was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The Cedar County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.
“The circumstances in each of these cases may have been different, but they all come with an important reminder that a crash can happen at any time,” said Colonel Bolduc. “Always wear your seat belt and refrain from distracted driving.”