Weather blamed for 11-vehicle pileup on I-80

February 21, 2019
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Multiple semis were involved in a wreck on Interstate 80 between Aurora and Giltner on Wednesday morning.

An Indiana man was flown to a hospital in Kearney with life-threatening injuries after being injured in an 11-vehicle pileup Wednesday morning on Interstate 80 between Giltner and Aurora.

Nebraska State Patrol spokesman Cody Thomas said Jason Palmer was one of three injured in the chain-reaction crashes that started about 9:10 a.m.

Thomas said Hamilton County got a 911 call that two semitrailers had crashed and jackknifed, blocking eastbound traffic on I-80 four miles west of the Aurora exit.

While troopers and deputies were on the way there, additional vehicles became involved, he said.

The first crash involved four semis and a Jeep Cherokee.

After the initial incident, a pair of semis traveling together came upon the scene and couldn’t stop. One struck the other, pushing it into the Jeep.

Palmer, a passenger in the Jeep, was taken to a hospital in Aurora, along with the SUV’s driver, and a semi driver, Jeffrey Clark, 56, of Colorado.

Palmer later was taken by life-flight to Kearney. The driver of the Jeep was released, and Clark’s injuries weren’t believed to be life-threatening.

Thomas said that as traffic was stopped for the first crash scene, another semi jackknifed while trying to avoid stopped traffic. Moments later, another crash occurred just to the west of the scene involving two more semis and a minivan. No one was hurt in those crashes.

I-80 was closed to eastbound traffic for about three hours while crews worked the scene and cleared the road.

Weather conditions were a factor in the crash.

Reported that 10 semis are involved in this! If your in the area please be respectful of law enforcement and other responders helping reroute traffic and if possible avoid eastbound I-80 near Aurora https://t.co/IqLaq748lM — NSP Dog Division (@NSP_DogDivision) February 20, 2019