The accident occurred just after 9 a.m. Tuesday in southeastern Stanton County, about seven miles north-northeast of Clarkson.
Sheriff Mike Unger identified the three as 67-year-old David Schmid and his wife, 59-year-old Elaine Schmid, from Norfolk, and 53-year-old Derek Wrase, of Joice, Iowa.
Unger says Elaine Schmid was driving a sport utility vehicle when it hit a tanker truck at the intersection of state Highways 15 and 32. The tanker soon was struck by a semitrailer. Wrase was driving the semitrailer.
The driver of the empty tanker truck, 27-year-old Brandon Wolf, of Fremont, was hospitalized.