A fiery, multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 80 in south-central Nebraska claimed three lives and injured two others.
It will take autopsies to identify the three who died, they were burned so badly.
The Nebraska State Patrol reports the crash began late Friday afternoon near the Gibbon exit when an eastbound semi tractor-trailer blew a tire as a pick-up was passing it. The semi struck the pick-up, forcing both vehicles through the median into the westbound lanes of I-80. The semi clipped the rear of a westbound semi, then struck a second pick-up. The impact sent the second pick-up into the ditch. It burst into flames. The semi rolled onto its side and caught fire.
The driver of the semi and the driver and passenger in the pick-up died.
The first pick-up came to rest in the westbound driving lane. The second semi continued on, stopping at the Gibbon exit.
NSP says names will be released after the autopsies have been completed and the families of the victims have been notified.
The driver of the second pick-up, 60-year-old Terry Purcell of Carter Lake, Iowa, and a passenger, 55-year-old Lisa Purcell of Carter Lake, Iowa, were taken to CHI Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney by ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.
The driver of the second semi was not injured.
The crash shut down portions of I-80 for more than four hours.