Pierce County Sheriff: Name of Driver Killed in Tanker-truck Accident Released

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PIERCE, Neb. -- One person has died following a two vehicle accident along Highway 13 just south of Pierce Wednesday afternoon.

Pierce County Sheriff Rick Eberhardt said a northbound pickup truck driven by 16-year-old Chancey White was attempting to turn west on 852 Road from Highway 13 around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, when he was hit from behind by a semi-truck.

The semi tanker then went off the road and into a west ditch and rolled. The Jaws of Life were used to help the semi driver, 66-year-old Eldon Kassebaum of West Point. Kassebaum was transported to Faith Regional Hospital where he passed away from his injuries.

The accident caused the truck to leak some fuel from its 8,000 gallon diesel tank. Fire crews were able to stop it.

Eberhardt said his department is blessed that several area agencies came to help with the accident scene.

"Pierce Fire, [Nebraska] State Patrol, Hadar Fire and Rescue, Pierce Rescue and the Sheriff's office were all working together. It was a tragedy today since one person passed away."

The accident caused the closure of Highway 13 from Hadar to Pierce for several hours, with Nebraska Department of Roads directing traffic near the accident scene.