October 20, 2014

Young southeastern Nebraska man dies in ATV accident

A young, southeastern Nebraska man has died in an all-terrain-vehicle accident.

The Saline County Sheriff’s Office reports 26-year-old Nathan Casteel of Crete hit a utility pole with his ATV just before midnight Saturday.

Emergency crews rushed Casteel to Crete Area Medical Center, but he was later pronounced dead from injuries suffered in the wreck.

Beautiful fall weather could be leading to bike deaths on Nebraska roads

Twenty-five people lost their lives on Nebraska roads last month.

Perhaps, not a huge number for a September. Last September, 23 people died in traffic wrecks in Nebraska. In 2012, 29 people died on Nebraska roadways in September.

Still, some aspects of last month’s carnage stand out.

Five motorcyclists died.

One bicyclist died.

Nebraska Office of Highway Safety Administrator Fred Zwonechek blames, in part, this beautiful fall weather.

“And weather plays a factor,” Zwonechek tells Nebraska Radio Network. “The nicer it is, the more people are going to ride.”

Nebraska has a record number of licensed motorcyclists at more than 95,000 with 55,000 motorcycles licensed.

Bike riding also seems to be up, substantially.

Drinking played a role in fatal wrecks last month.

Zwonechek says the number of deaths would have dropped drastically with fewer distracted drivers as well.

“And that means putting the cell phone down. No texting. Basically, staying off the phone,” according to Zwonechek. “Driving demands your full attention. Literally, in a split second, you make an error in judgment, a mistake, and it can be deadly.”

None of the fatal crashes occurred on I-80. Ten fatal traffic accidents occurred on non-Interstate highways. Fifteen took place on local roads. Sixteen of the fatalities happened on rural roads.

Eleven of the 19 people riding in cars who died weren’t buckled up.

“Extremely frustrating,” Zwonechek says. “We know that just statistically that more than half of those people who died who weren’t wearing seat belts, had they been wearing them, they would have survived and many of them would have had minor injuries.”

Young man dies, five others injured in one car crash in northeast Nebraska

A young man has been killed and five others injured in a one-vehicle accident in extreme northeastern Nebraska.

The Nebraska State Patrol reports 21-year-old Chase Miller, a passenger, was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene near Emerson early Saturday morning. The remaining five occupants were taken to a Sioux City, IA hospital.

The Dakota County Sheriff’s Office reports the vehicle rolled.

Teen-ager dies from injuries after car rolls in northeastern Nebraska

A teen-ager has died after his car rolled Saturday morning on Nebraska Highway 16 west of Pender.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office reports 17-year-old Francisco Rodriquez Madueno of West Point died at a Sioux City, IA hospital from injuries sustained in the wreck.

Questions about party buses after passenger left behind

 There have been a lot of questions regarding party buses after the tragic death of a Nebraska Wesleyan University student last weekend. Officials believe that 22 year old Maury Lorence of Doniphan was left behind at a truck stop and while walking along I-80 near Lincoln he was hit by several vehicles. 

Party Express Bus Nebraska was not involved in last weekend’s incident but owner Joe Bisgard explains how they operate.  He says they are a transportation service regulated by the Nebraska Public Service Commission and they allow alcohol and drinking on the bus. Party Express Bus Nebraska does not serve or sell alcohol to passengers

Bisgard says the person who rents the bus is responsible for anything that happens on board and to the vehicle. He says that person tells the driver where to go, how long they stay at one location and who gets on and off.

Do passengers get left behind?  Bisgard says all the time. He says, “Sometimes people are having a good time at a bar and they don’t want to get back on the bus. We are told to go by the person who rents the bus. That customer says its time to go – we go.”

Bisgard says most rent the bus so they can drink and not worry about later getting behind the wheel.   His company also drops passengers off at home or at a hotel.