The Nebraska State Patrol is reporting that an 11:30 a.m. crash on Highway 2 has claimed the life of the driver of a  truck and semi-trailer believed to have struck a tanker near Dunbar.



Preliminary reports and witness accounts indicate a tanker truck was headed east on Highway 2, when it was struck from behind by a second truck and semi-trailer. The tanker had slowed to make a right turn onto Highway 67 prior to being hit.



The force of the collision caused the second semi to catch fire. 


 

The Nebraska State Patrol is reporting that an 11:30 a.m. crash on Highway 2 has claimed the life of the driver of the truck and semi-trailer believed to have struck a tanker near Dunbar.

Preliminary reports and witness accounts indicated a tanker truck was headed east on Highway 2, when it was struck from behind by a second truck and semi-trailer. The tanker had slowed to make a right turn onto Highway 67 prior to being hit.

The force of the collision caused the second semi to catch fire. 

The driver of the second semi was trapped in the cab and pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the tanker truck was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Nebraska City, with non-life threatening injuries.

The names of both drivers are being withheld held pending notification of relatives. 

A hazardous material team is on the scene, evaluating a leak in the tanker truck and examining the North Branch of the Little Nemaha River which runs into Dunbar. The tanker was hauling unleaded fuel.

The Nebraska State patrol is being assisted by the Otoe County Sheriff’s Office, Dunbar, Nebraska City and Syracuse Fire and Rescue Squads, the Otoe County Emergency Management and the State Fire Marshals’ Hazardous Materials Response Team.

Officials expect the two highways to be closed for an extended period of time, while the investigation and clean up are conducted.  Motorists are encouraged to consider an alternate route.

 

Update 2:38 p.m.

A witness told investigators that the Casey's tanker truck was slowing on the eastbound lane of Highway 2 to turn into Dunbar.

Another truck and semi-trailer following behind stuck the back of the tanker, tossing the trailer to the roadside ditch, where it rolled.

The witness said the other truck seemed to burst into flames immediately.

The driver of the Casey's truck was taken to St. Mary's Community Hospital in Nebraska City.

The semi-trailer continued to burn at 2:20 p.m. while hazardous material officers mobilized on the scene.

There is no official word regarding the content of the trailer, but firefighters have not been asked to back away.

Update 2 p.m. - Casey’s is sending a tanker to pump the load off of the damaged tanker.
Crews are trying to stop leak coming from a “tear” at ground level of the tanker.
Checking in HazMat trailer to see if there is anything that can be applied and “solidify” around the leak.

A semi tractor and trailer and a tanker collided on Highway 2 near Dunbar in the eastbound lanes around 11:30 a.m. The truck was fully engulfed in flames almost immediately and the tanker was smoking. Emergency responders initially evacuated to 1,000 meters distance. Only one truck with a minimum crew was able to approach to cool the tanker down and assess the situation. Shortly after noon, crews moved in to attack the fire from multiple angles.


A semi tractor and trailer and a tanker collided on Highway 2 near Dunbar in the eastbound lanes around 11:30 a.m. The truck was fully engulfed in flames almost immediately and the tanker was smoking. Emergency responders initially evacuated to 1,000 meters distance. Only one truck with a minimum crew was able to approach to cool the tanker down and assess the situation. Shortly after noon, crews moved in to attack the fire from multiple angles.

 


The tanker was identified as a Casey’s truck believed to be carrying 8,500 gallons of diesel and unleaded fuel. The driver reported a leak from the diesel tank after he escaped the wreckage. He was transported by ambulance to St. Mary’s Community Hospital in?Nebraska City.

The driver of the other vehicle, which is believed to have been carrying paper, is not believed to have gotten out of the truck before it caught fire.

Nebraska City, Dunbar and Syracuse emergency personnel are on scene.

When smoke was seen coming from under the tanker, which has a sign indicating it is a Casey’s tanker, all emergency personnel were ordered out of the 1,000 meter “kill zone.” The Dunbar department was too close and was ordered to evacuate down a county road.

Eastbound lanes are expected to be closed for “hours.”

Nearby intersections are being closed as trucks diverting from the highway attempt to get back to Highway 2.