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NSP identifies three people killed in I-80 crash on Sunday

Investigation findings released
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Posted at 10:55 AM, Dec 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-26 14:13:53-05

GRETNA, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) has identified three people who were killed in a rollover crash on I-80 on Sunday. They say none of them appear to have been wearing seat belts.

Update: I-80 crash claims life of fourth victim, a four-year-old

The three people who died have been identified as:

19-year-old Domingo Pascual Velasquez of Lincoln

15-year-old Erica Rafael of Lincoln

10-year-old Heidy Diaz of Lincoln

NSP says a 4-year-old passenger was also in the vehicle and is being treated for critical injuries.

The front-seat passengers, 29-year-old Carlos Bernabe Escobar and 28-year-old Carmelina Pascual Bernabe, are the parents of the two youngest children. The two older children are their niece and nephew NSP says. Carmelina and Carlos were both transported to Omaha with non-life-threatening injuries.

They say the wreck appears to have occurred when the eastbound Trailblazer being driven by Carlos lost control in slick conditions, rolled and entered westbound lanes on I-80. The vehicle was then struck by a westbound vehicle. They say another westbound vehicle was also involved in the crash.

Troopers believe none of people traveling in the Trailblazer were wearing their seat belts.

All occupants riding in the other vehicles were wearing seatbelts and that the investigation is ongoing NSP says.

Lincoln High released the following statement regarding the crash and the two oldest victims who attended Lincoln Public Schools:

This morning we learned the sad news that two of the people who were killed in a car crash yesterday on I-80 are part of our Lincoln High family: Erica Rafael Pascual, was an 11th grade student and Domingo Pascual Velasquez, was a student at Lincoln High last year. Our hearts are with their family and friends during this difficult time.


The Lincoln Public Schools Crisis Team is at Lincoln High today to help provide support to students and staff. We encourage students who may be struggling with this news to reach out to one of the Crisis Team members or a trusted adult at home or school.


It can be a helpful part of the grieving process to commemorate the person who has died. The Crisis Team - as well as school administrators - are available to work with students to find positive and school-appropriate ways to express grief.


Information about funeral services will likely be available soon on funeral home websites or in the Lincoln Journal Star. We recommend that parents/caregivers attend services with their child in order to provide support.


Adolescents often experience a variety of responses to the death of a classmate. Some may show no emotion while others may experience intense emotions. Feelings about previous losses may also resurface at this time. We encourage you to take time to talk openly with your student about their thoughts and feelings. It is beneficial for your student to know that you are there to listen and comfort them.


Here [track.spe.schoolmessenger.com] is a link with information regarding helping teens cope with trauma and grief. Please do not hesitate to let us know if we can provide additional support.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the school.


Sincerely,

Mark Larson

Principal

The school of the youngest victim, Heidy Diaz Pascual, also provided a statement:

Hartley families,

We have received the sad news of the death of one of our fourth grade students, Heidy Diaz Pascual, who was killed in a car crash yesterday. This is very difficult for Heidy’s family and friends and we are thinking of them. We read the following message to Hartley students today:

We have some sad news to share with you. We learned this morning that Heidy Diaz Pascual, a 4th grade student here at Hartley, was killed in a car crash yesterday. This is very difficult for Heidy’s family and friends and we are thinking of them.

The Lincoln Public Schools Crisis Team is at Hartley today in Room 200 to help provide support to students and staff. If you or someone close to you is having a hard time with this news, we encourage you to talk to your teacher and then meet with a member of the Crisis Team for support.

The Lincoln Public Schools Crisis Team is at Hartley today to help provide support to students and staff. We encourage students who may be struggling with this news to reach out to one of the Crisis Team members or a trusted adult at home or school.

It can be a helpful part of the grieving process to commemorate the person who has died. The Crisis Team - as well as school administrators - are available to work with students to find positive and school-appropriate ways to express grief.

Information about funeral services will likely be available soon on funeral home websites or in the Lincoln Journal Star. We recommend that parents/caregivers attend services with their child in order to provide support.

For most elementary children, death is a new experience. Like all new experiences, the unknown can be confusing and frightening. Children will seek answers and comfort from their caregivers and other adults that they have a relationship with.

Children often experience a variety of responses after the death of classmate and we would expect them to react in ways that are different than older children or adults. Some may respond with little emotion and others may experience very strong emotions. It is also possible that a death of a classmate can trigger a child’s grief about a previous loss or disruption in their life.

We encourage you to listen to your child express their thoughts and feelings and to provide extra support to them. Below are two resources that may help you talk with your child about grief and death. Please contact your child’s classroom teacher with any questions or concerns.

https://childrengrieve.org/resources/10-ways-to-help-a-grieving-child[childrengrieve.org]

https://home.lps.org/socialworkers/files/2017/04/Helping-Children-with-Trauma-and-Grief-2.pd [home.lps.org]

Sincerely,



Jeff Rust

Principal