UPDATE: Ice Contributed to Deadly Crash in Howard County

By: Megan Johnson Email
By: Megan Johnson Email

Update:

Police say icy and foggy conditions Monday morning were responsible for several accidents, including a few that were severe, sending people to the hospital and even causing at least one death.

"This morning it was just the right temperature with just the right amount of moisture, it just made everything really slick," says GIPD Officer Butch Hurst.

Officials say Monday morning's poor visibility didn't just cause fender benders in town, but made highways treacherous too.

"It's right at the freezing mark, and with the heavy fog and stuff it can turn the roads to black ice pretty fast, so we are out there trying to stay ahead of it," says Allen Horak with the Nebraska Department of Roads.

But even with NDOR spreading salt and sand some areas were still slick.

The Nebraska State Patrol says one person was killed in a near head-on collision in St. Libory. Troopers say a Grand Island woman was traveling north on Highway 281 when her car slid on the ice. She crossed into oncoming traffic and struck another vehicle driven by Robert Guenette, 43, of St. Libory. Guenette was killed in the accident.

And with more winter weather on the way, officials say drivers need to take care.

"When you're driving in the fog you have to really slow down because you can't see other people and they can't see you," says Hurst.

"As you drive the roads, some places you might be able to see a half a mile, but then the next place you might get into where you're only a couple car lengths," says Horak. "[Drivers] really need to drive the conditions of the roads and if they need to slow down, go a little slower to be safe, that's the main thing."

NSP says wet weather was a factor in a car-train crash near Juniata on Monday as well. A 16 year old Juniata girl was trying to stop at a Union Pacific crossing, but slid around the crossing guard arm and struck a passing train. She was taken to a Lincoln hospital.

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Original Story:

The Howard County Sheriff's Office said one person is dead following a two-car crash Monday morning.

The Nebraska State Patrol said a call came in around 8:10am for a crash that happened on mile marker 282 on Highway 281.

NSP said 29-year-old Chrystal Hopkins of Grand Island was heading northbound on Highway 281 when she slid on the ice, crossing into the southbound lane colliding with 43 year-old Robert Guenette's 2002 Chevy Tahoe.

NSP said Guenette of St. Libory died from injuries sustained in the near head on collision.

Hopkins was wearing a seat belt. Hopkins remains in the hospital. There’s been no decision whether or not she’ll be cited in the incident as it’s still under investigation.

Stay with NebraskaCentralNews.com for updates on this developing story.


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