Western Nebraska authorities believe icy conditions may have contributed to a two-vehicle crash that killed three people Thursday morning.
MAXWELL, Neb. (AP) - Lincoln County Sheriff Jerome Kramer said both vehicles caught fire after the crash happened around 7:30 a.m. Thursday on U.S. Highway 30 near Maxwell, which is about 260 miles west of Omaha and close to North Platte.
Kramer said two boys were on their way to school when the 14-year-old driver lost control, and their vehicle collided with a married couple's westbound vehicle. The 14-year-old was driving legally on a school permit.
The 14-year-old driver and his 10-year-old passenger were killed along with the female passenger in the other car. The second car's male driver was flown to a Lincoln hospital in critical condition.
Kramer didn't immediately identify the victims. He said the fire made it more difficult to identify the passenger in the second vehicle.
The boys who were killed in the crash attended the Brady school district, so school officials arranged to have crisis counselors available Thursday to students who knew the boys.
A separate accident in Lincoln County shortly before the fatal crash forced Interstate 80 to be closed for several hours.
Nebraska State Patrol spokeswoman Deb Collins said the driver of a semitrailer truck lost control of his vehicle near Brady because of slick road conditions.
The semi driver overcorrected after his truck left the road, and his trailer jackknifed across both eastbound lanes of traffic.
Two other semitrailer trucks drove through the trailer blocking the highway. Both those trucks managed to stay upright, but one of the drivers was taken to a Gothenburg hospital for treatment of a hand injury.
Interstate 80 was closed for more than three hours before reopening shortly after 9 a.m.
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