Eleven vehicles were involved in multiple crashes that occurred this morning on Interstate 80 between Giltner and Aurora.
According to a news release from the Nebraska State Patrol, Hamilton County received a 911 call around 9:10 a.m. that two semi-trailers had crashed and jackknifed, blocking eastbound traffic on I-80 near mile marker 328. As troopers and officers were en route to the scene, additional vehicles became involved in a chain reaction crash. The first crash scene involved four semis and one passenger vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee.
NSP says after the initial incident, a pair of semis that were traveling together came upon the scene and were unable to stop. One struck the other, pushing it into the Jeep Cherokee.
Both occupants of the Cherokee were transported to the hospital in Aurora, but the passenger, Jason Palmer, 29, of Indiana, has since been life-flighted to Kearney with life threatening injuries. The driver was evaluated and has been released from the hospital. One of the semi drivers, Jeffrey Clark, 56, of Colorado, was also transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
As traffic was stopped for the first crash scene, another semi jackknifed while attempting to avoid the stopped traffic. Moments later, another crash occurred a short distance to the west involving two more semis and a minivan. No injuries were reported in those crashes.
In total, there were nine semis and two passenger vehicles involved in the incidents near mile marker 328. Interstate 80 was closed for eastbound traffic for approximately three hours while emergency crews worked the scene and cleared the road. Weather conditions were a factor in the crash.