3 killed in four-vehicle crash on I-80 near Gibbon

Posted at 2:57 PM, Sep 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-24 15:59:28-04

Officials with Nebraska State Patrol say that  three people were killed and two others injured in a multiple vehicle crash on Interstate 80 near the Gibbon exit in Buffalo County Friday afternoon.

According to officials, the crash occurred around 4:22 p.m. on eastbound I-80, just one mile east of the Gibbon exit.

NSP says an eastbound semi in the driving lane blew a tire as it was being passed by a 2013 Chevy Silverado pickup.

The semi, struck the pickup causing both vehicles to go through the median and into the westbound lanes of traffic.

The semi, then struck the rear of a westbound semi, before continuing down the westbound lane and striking a 1989 Chevy K1500 pickup.

The impact caused the second pickup to roll into the ditch where it burst into flames. The semi also rolled onto its side and caught fire.

The Chevy Silverado pickup came to rest in the westbound driving lane. The second semi involved in the crash was able to continue on stopping at the Gibbon exit. 

Officials say the crash claimed the lives of the driver of the of the first semi and the driver and passenger in the second pickup.

NSP officials added that due to the fiery nature of the crash autopsies will be required to determine identification.

The names of those killed will be released upon completion of autopsies and notification of family.

Officials say The driver of the Chevy Silverado pickup, Terry Purcell, 60, of Carter Lake, and a passenger Lisa Purcell, 55, also from Carter Lake, were both transported by ambulance to CHI Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney with non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the second semi, Jake Hofer 42, of Lynden, Washington was not injured. 

NSP officials said the crash closed a portions of I-80 for nearly four and a half hours.