Winter weather is being blamed for a fatal crash in central Nebraska.
The Nebraska State Patrol reports the driver of a semi tractor-trailer lost control of the truck while traveling east on snow covered Interstate 80 Tuesday night. According to NSP, the truck slid into the median and jackknifed. The driver of a westbound car hit her brakes, lost control of the car on the slick interstate, slid into the median, and crashed into the truck.
55-year-old Irene Stierwalt of Ogallala, a backseat passenger, died in the wreck.
The driver of the car, 19-year-old Bridgette Robinett of Torrington, Wyoming, is being treated at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney for non-life threatening injuries. Two other passengers, 20-year-old Sheldon Baltzell of Bayard and 43-year-old Leslie Wray of Ogallala, are also being treated for non-life threatening injuries at Good Samaritan.
The truck driver, 55-year-old Bryan Boyer of Eden, Ohio, was not injured.
While NSP reports the truck driver was wearing a seat belt, no one in the car was wearing seat belts.
The fatal crash has prompted NSP to remind motorists to be careful during winter weather.
The Nebraska Advanced Traveler Information System can be accessed by dialing 511 or online at 511.nebraska.gov. The 511 mobile app is also available to download at no cost for smartphone users. Simply search your app provider for Nebraska 511.
NSP reminds motorists to slow down when roads get slick. Do not use the cruise control when it is raining, sleeting, or snowing. Drive defensively; give other vehicles plenty of distance. Keep headlights on. Exercise caution on bridges and overpasses.
A winter weather survival kit should be kept in your vehicle.
Here is the NSP recommendation:
Emergency first aid kit
Ice scraper, shovel, small bag of sand
Mobile phone, charger, batteries
High energy or dehydrated foods
Blankets or sleeping bag, extra set of clothing and winter accessories
Flashlight, include extra batteries (cold weather reduces battery strength)
Jumper cables, tow rope, tool kit
Empty can (both large and small)
Matches and candles
Red flag or bandana.
Motorists in need of non-emergency roadside assistance can call the Nebraska state Patrol Highway Helpline when safe to do so by dialing *55 from any cell phone or 1-800-525-5555. Emergencies should be reported to 911.