Van on fire after one-vehicle fatal accident near Interstate 80 West / 680 North interchange

Posted at 1:35 PM, Jul 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-05 21:08:56-04

One man was killed and a van sat engulfed in flames near the Interstate 680 on-ramp from 80 West following a one-vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators determined speed and alcohol were a factor in the accident, but were still trying to figure out where each occupant was sitting in the 2001 Dodge Ram work van at the time of the accident, the Omaha Police press release states.

Omaha Police Sgt. Chuck Casey said Omaha Fire declared one man dead at the scene, and two more were taken to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. One man was taken to Nebraska Medicine with severe burns to his lower legs; another man was transported to Nebraska Methodist Hospital with minor injuries, according to the release.

Authorities said they plan to release the names of the victims once notifications have been made. Casey said getting information could prove difficult as the van fire left authorities with only a partial plate.

Initial reports indicated the driver of the work-style van was speeding and lost control of the van while veering onto I-680 North, Casey said. An investigation confirmed the speeding van left the roadway, struck a metal guardrail, then vaulted over it, according to the press release. It then hit the concrete bridge support, rolled over, and caught fire, the release states.

I-680 Northbound traffic was diverted to the Center Street exit, where traffic was allowed back onto I-680, the release states. The on-ramp was fully re-opened at about 4:40 p.m. Nebraska Department of Roads and Nebraska State Patrol both helped with traffic control while investigators worked the scene. 

At one point, authorities also routed I-80 Westbound traffic — including those traveling to Lincoln — to the I-L-Q exit, he said, and Center Street traffic was allowed to continue north briefly to alleviate traffic.