Icy conditions caused a two-vehicle crash that killed three people Thursday morning in western Nebraska when a 14-year-old driver lost control of a vehicle, authorities said.
MAXWELL, Neb. (AP) - Lincoln County Sheriff Jerome Kramer said both vehicles caught fire after the crash, which happened just before 7:30 a.m. Thursday on U.S. Highway 30 near Maxwell, which is 14 miles east of North Platte.
Two brothers, 14-year-old Conner Gentry and 10-year-old Colton Gentry, were killed when their SUV slid into oncoming traffic while crossing a railroad overpass, police said.
The sheriff's office said 45-year-old Elaine Grasz also died. She was a passenger in the sedan that the boys' vehicle hit. Bystanders helped pull the sedan's driver, 46-year-old Terry Grasz, from the vehicle, but he was severely burned. Terry Grasz was flown to a Lincoln hospital.
Conner Gentry was driving legally on a school permit. The brothers were going to their Brady district school. The district arranged to have crisis counselors available Thursday.
Kramer said the fire made it difficult initially to identify the victims.
A separate, ice-related incident in Lincoln County on Thursday morning forced Interstate 80 to be closed for more than three hours. Nebraska State Patrol spokeswoman Deb Collins said the driver of a semitrailer truck lost control of his vehicle near Brady and jackknifed across the roadway.
Two other semitrailer trucks drove through the trailer, but both stayed upright. One of those drivers was taken to a hospital in Gothenburg to treat a hand injury.
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