A bad crash begot more crashes along Interstate 80 near Grand Island in Nebraska Wednesday morning, involving nine semi tractor-trailers and two passenger vehicles.
According to Nebraska State Patrol, Hamilton County dispatch got a call around 9:10 a.m. that two semis had crashed and jackknifed near mile marker 328 between the small towns of Giltner and Aurora there.
While state patrol rushed to the scene, more cars began to crash after this first one. Weather conditions were a factor, NSP said. The chain reaction crash ended up injuring several people.
In the first wreck, four semis and a passenger vehicle - a Jeep Cherokee - were involved. Two semis were unable to stop after the first two crashed, and one semi hit another, pushing it into the Cherokee, NSP said.
As traffic stopped for the first group of crashed semis, another semi jackknifed while attempting to avoid the other vehicles, NSP said. Just moments after that, another crash happened just to the west of first wreck involving two more semis. No injuries were reported, according to state patrol.
Both occupants of the Cherokee were rushed to Memorial Hospital in Aurora, Nebraska. The passenger, identified as 29-year-old Jason Palmer of Indiana, had to be life-flighted to Kearney after being taken to Memorial. He has life-threatening injuries, NSP said. The driver was evaluated and released from the Aurora hospital.
One of the semi drivers, a 56-year-old Coloradan named Jeffrey Clark had to be taken to Memorial, NSP said. His injuries aren't thought to be life-threatening.
I-80 eastbound had to be closed at mile marker 328 for about three hours while emergency crews worked to clear the road.
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