Man identified in Fatal Accident at Hwy 77 and Waverly Road

By: Channel 8 Eyewitness Newsroom
8@klkntv.com

The Lancaster County sheriff’s office says Highway 77 is open again to thru traffic. It’s been closed most of the day following a horrific crash near Waverly Road. The accident happened around 6 a.m. when a large Semi truck driven by 67-year-old Gary Jacobson of Garland tried to cross the highway.

"The rock truck…did stop and was going to travel west through the intersection of Hwy 77 and continue on Waverly Road," explained Capt. Ben Houchin with LSO.

Deputies say they don’t know why, but Jacobson continued through the intersection and into the path of another semi driving south on Highway 77. 

"It did strike the semi, causing it to go on its side," Houchin said. "The semi did catch on fire."

The driver of the flipped semi, 21-year-old Brandon Gerdes, was killed at the scene. Jacobson was taken to the hospital in critical but stable condition. Gerdes was a UNL student; the college confirms he was a junior studying agronomy who transferred in last fall.

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Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office have identified the victim of the crash as 21 year old Brandon Gerdes of Osmond, NE.

He was driving a grain truck going south on Hwy 77.

The 21-year-old was a junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying agronomy.  He transferred to UNL from Northeast Community College last fall. 

The driver of the rock truck is Gary Jacobsen, 67 of Garland.   He was transported to the hospital and is in critical but stable condition.

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Nebraska State Patrol and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office are on the scene of a fatal accident.  

The accident is at the intersection of  Hwy 77 and Waverly Road.  

Traffic is being diverted at Interstate 80.

We have a reporter on the scene and will bring you updates as they become available.

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Press Release from Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office:

At approximately 6:00 AM this morning members of the Lancaster County
Sheriff’s Office, Lincoln Police Department, Nebraska State Patrol, Raymond
Rural Fire, Waverly Fire, and Lincoln Fire and Rescue responded to Hwy. 77
and Waverly Road on a report of an accident involving two semi-trailers.

According to witnesses, a truck hauling rock was proceeding westbound on
Waverly Road crossing the four lanes of Hwy. 77 after stopping for the stop
sign on the northeast corner of the intersection when it collided with the
driver’s side of a grain truck that was traveling southbound on Hwy. 77.
The grain truck rolled onto its side and burst into flames upon impact.

The driver of the grain truck was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver
of the rock truck was transported to an area hospital for his injuries and
is in critical but stable condition.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash. It does not appear
that seatbelts were in use by the rock truck driver.

The release of the deceased driver’s name is pending next-of-kin
notification.

The investigation is on-going.