Two-car fatal crash triggers another accident between semi-trailer and train

Two-car fatal crash triggers another accident between semi-trailer and train. (NTV News)

A two-car crash on Highway 30 between Grand Island and Central City left one person dead and sent three people to the hospital.

Merrick County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a crash on Highway 30 between 5th and 6th Road in Merrick County for a two-vehicle collision accident at 3:05 p.m. on Friday. A preliminary investigation concluded that a 2014 Chrysler Town and Country van was traveling westbound and a 1995 Ford F-150 was traveling east, both on Highway 30 when they collided.

The driver of the Chrysler - Robert Campos, 74, of Colorado Springs, Colo. - was pronounced dead at the scene and all other passengers were transported by the Central City Ambulance and Grand Island Fire Department in critical condition to CHI Health St. Francis in Grand Island.

Police say after the first accident occurred, traffic was backed up, including across the railroad tracks.

At 3:48 p.m, a separate accident occurred at Highway 30 and 5th Road. This accident involved a semi-truck and a Union Pacific train traveling west bound. The train collided with the semi-truck parked on the tracks that had reportedly been trying to get across. The train collided with the trailer, and no injuries were reported. The accident was investigated by the Nebraska State Patrol and the Union Pacific police.

Officers said if the front part of the semi hadn't made it across the tracks, they could've been looking at another fatality.

"The semi was still partially across the train tracks- couldn't get any further ahead but the train was coming through and thus the train went through the trailer of the semi," Lieutenant Phil Thede of the Nebraska State Patrol said.

"By the time that engineer conductor sees that there's a problem in the road way ahead of them, they're probably going to be another mile or so beyond that point by the time they actually get stopped. So they really don't have any option, other than to simply go through the intersection," he said.

The Merrick County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Nebraska State Patrol, Union Pacific Police, Chapman Fire and Rescue Squad, Grand Island Rural Fire and Rescue, and Central City Fire and Rescue, and the Central Nebraska Humane Society Animal Control Authority.

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