April 23, 2014

Deadly overnight accident in Omaha kills one

One person is dead following an early morning accident in Omaha.

Police say a speeding SUV was southbound on 72nd Street when the driver lost control near Shirley Street around 1:00 a.m. The vehicle went off the road, through two parking lots; hit a tree and then a light pole.

Authorities say the driver died at the scene of the accident.  He is identified as 19 year old David Korff of Omaha.

Volunteer firefighters flock to Nebraska training academy

Barn Fire 2As fears of wildfires flare with dry conditions in many parts of the state, the seventh annual Nebraska Wildland Fire Academy is scheduled to begin this coming weekend and run through early May.

Casey McCoy, a wildland fire training manager with the Nebraska Forest Service, says 20 courses are being offered.

“Primarily, what we were trying to address was a void of training that could lead to certification on the part of volunteer firefighters,” McCoy says. “The initial push was in the northwest part of the state. What it’s grown to is it’s become an academy that draws students from multiple states, six or eight states every year.”

Past academies have drawn up to 300 students, a majority of whom are volunteer firefighters. Courses focus on leadership, skills and operations and incident management, with names like Air Tanker Management and Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Calculations.

McCoy says students can still sign up.

“Unfortunately, we have a few that have low registration so if we don’t get some more students signed up for those, we won’t be able to present those,” McCoy says. “If the classes are still going, we’ll take registration right up to the day of class starting. They can get to the registration through the Nebraska Forest Service website.”

The academy runs April 26th through May 4th at Fort Robinson State Park near Crawford.

Just over a week ago, eight counties in southwest Nebraska were included in a disaster area declared by the federal government due to the lingering drought.


Young boy dies after being run over by loader

A 9-year-old Ashland boy died this weekend after being run over by a Bobcat loader.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports Grant Johnson died after the loader backed over him. According to the sheriff’s office, 35-year-old Augusto Figueroa was clearing brush and debris at a rural Ashland acreage at the time of the accident.

The office considers the death an accident.

Grant, the son of Shad and Kimberly Johnson, was a third-grade student at Ashland-Greenwood Elementary.

Nebraska runners remember Boston Marathon tragedy

Today is the one year anniversary of the bombing at the Boston Marathon. About fifteen members of the Omaha Ndorfinz Racing Team took part in the race and all returned home unharmed. Derek Sey is a member of the team and competed in the marathon back in 2009. He has talked with a number of runners taking part this year.  The bombing did not impact their decision to run but they will be remembering the three killed and more than 260 injured. He says the Boston Marathon is the World Series of running and those who qualify are anxious to take part. 

Ashley Wiles is from Omaha and will run in the Boston Marathon on Monday. She had several friends that ran last year and one crossed the finish line about the time of the explosion. Both escaped injury. One was a physician and both turned their attention to the victims. Wiles says last year’s bombing didn’t impact her decision to run this year but will remember the victims with every step she takes.

More than 100 runners from Nebraska have signed up for the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Four die in weather-related traffic crashes

Four Nebraskans have died in weather-related accidents over the past 24 hours.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office reports an elderly couple died in a crash in northeastern Nebraska Sunday afternoon. The office says 85-year-old Virlyn Lukens of Emerson and his 77-year-old wife, Marvel Lukens, were killed when Virlyn lost control of their pick-up near Hoskins on icy Highway 35 and a SUV trailing them ran into the pick-up.

The driver of the SUV, 45-year-old Robbi Johnson of Norfolk, was taken to a Norfolk hospital.

Omaha police report a 58-year-old Omaha man died from injuries suffered in the wreck of his van last night.

Police report Roy Tiller was driving too fast on snow-covered streests around 10 o’clock Sunday evening. He was driving south off westbound Storz Expressway onto Highway 75. Tiller lost control of the van. It hit a guardrail twice, ejecting him.

Officials report rain turned to heavy, wet snow in Omaha last night worsening driving conditions throughout the evening.

A young Lincoln woman was killed in a weather-related traffic accident early this morning just outside the city limits of Lincoln.

Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner says 27-year-old Jessica Lyons was a passenger in the backset of the SUV when the driver lost control of the vehicle on a patch of ice. It spun into the ditch.

Wagner says Lyons was thrown from the SUV. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The driver, 45-year-old John Norbert, was a Lincoln Journal Star carrier who was training Jessica and her husband John on the paper route. Norbert suffered serious injuries. John Lyons was treated and released.

Jane Monnich, KLIN, and Karla James contributed to this story.