Most Nebraska roadways became covered with snow and ice during Monday’s large winter storm, which included blizzard conditions across much of the state. There were numerous accidents on Nebraska’s major highways Monday and potentially hazardous road conditions continue in many areas.
A weather-related accident resulted in two fatalities in Kimball County at approximately 4:45 p.m. Monday. A car driven by Frankie Back, 30, with passenger Joshua Hack, 33, both of Kimball, lost control because of poor weather conditions while driving southbound on Highway 71 approximately two miles north of the Colorado border. The 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer crossed the center line and struck a northbound semi. Back and Hack were pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of the semi, Abraham Lamas-Cuevas, was transported to the Kimball Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
In addition to that accident, weather was to blame for many more accidents throughout the state. Two accidents on Interstate 80 resulted in pile-ups of more than ten vehicles each. One of those accidents, near the Goehner exit, sent four people to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. The other accident, near the Greenwood exit, did not result in any significant injuries.
The Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) responded to around 75 accidents during the storm and made 375 motorist assists. Many of those motorist assists were for drivers who had become stranded. Dozens of vehicles remain stranded around the state as conditions were too dangerous for tow trucks to operate on major highways for much of Monday.
Troopers throughout the state report that roads are still covered with ice in some areas. NSP recommends that anyone travelling today use caution and prepare for traffic to move slower than normal. Nebraska’s 511 system is the best source of road and travel condition information.