UPDATE: 3 confirmed dead in I-80 crash near Utica - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

UPDATE: 3 confirmed dead in I-80 crash near Utica

Posted: Updated: 02/01/14 01:09 PM

Posted By:  KLKN Newsroom

Tragedy strikes just west of Lincoln as three people are killed in a car vs. semi accident.

State Troopers say icy roads are likely to blame for the horrific crash that took the lives of a Lincoln couple and their 6–year–old daughter.

It happened near the Utica exit, near mile marker 365, about 30 miles west of Lincoln. Emergency crews were called just after 8 a.m.

"The vehicle lost control on the ice, crossed through the median and then was struck head–on by a semi," Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Greg Goltz said.

The car was traveling westbound when it lost control and hit the eastbound semi.

The State Patrol says the three passengers inside the car, Ranulfo Martinez Lopez, his wife Maria Fernandez and their six–year–old daughter Amy, were killed on impact and thrown from the vehicle. The shredded remains of the car were scattered along the interstate.

"The actual force of the collision is what caused the fatality, not the ejections, and we don't know at this point on if individuals had seatbelts or not just because of the destruction of the vehicle," Goltz said.

Officials say the tragedy was a result of slick roads.

"The car itself, we don't know the speed at this junction but we do know it was driving too fast for the conditions of the road," Goltz said.

The driver of the semi was not injured.

The accident shut down both eastbound and westbound lanes of the interstate. Clean–up and the investigation kept eastbound lanes closed until about 2:30 this afternoon.

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