A state trooper remains in serious, but stable condition after an unlicensed 17-year-old driver struck his patrol car nearly head-on this past weekend in southwestern Nebraska.
The Nebraska State Patrol reports Trooper Jeffrey Van Stelton, 28, is being treated at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.
According to the patrol, Stelton was driving west on Highway 34 about four miles west of Stratton in Hitchcock County when a car crossed the center-line and ran into his patrol car. The patrol car came to rest in the south ditch and burst into flames. The other car came to rest on the highway.
Emergency crews first rushed Stelton by ambulance to the McCook hospital, then flew him by helicopter to Kearney. He suffered injuries to his pelvis, legs and arms.
The 17-year-old male who suffered non-life threatening injuries has been released from the Benkelman Hospital. No medical status has been released on 40-year-old Antonia Valdez, a passenger in the vehicle who is being treated at Good Samaritan in Kearney. Valdez had also been transported to the McCook hospital, before being flown to Kearney to be treated for leg injuries.
The accident occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday.
Trooper Van Stelton is assigned to Troop D-North Platte and is stationed in McCook. He has been with the patrol for six years.