UPDATE: Names released in fiery fatal crash
Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News
(Ogallala, Neb.)- A multiple vehicle crash on westbound Interstate 80, near Brule on Sunday, July 31, claimed the lives of five members of a Minnesota family.
Killed in the crash were, Jamison Pals, 29, his wife, Kathryne Pals, 29, both of Minneapolis, MN., and the couple’s three children, three-year old Ezra, 23-month old Violet, and two-month old Calvin.
The crash occurred in a construction zone, approximately four miles west of Brule, just before 11:30 a.m. (MDT). Preliminary investigation into the crash indicates, a westbound semi, struck the rear of the Pals’ 2006 Dodge minivan The force of the collision then pushed the semi and the Pals’ minivan into a 1994 Plymouth Voyager minivan, a 2015 Nissan Rouge (SUV) and a 2013 Ford van, all traveling westbound. Both the semi and the minivan involved in the initial crash were engulfed in flames.
The driver of the semi, was transported to Sedgewick County Hospital in Julesburg, Colo., where he was treated and released. Upon his release from the hospital, the driver of the semi identified as Tony A. Weekly, 53, Baker, Florida, was lodged in the Keith County Corrections on updated charges of five counts of felony motor vehicle homicide.
Six people in the three other vehicles involved were transported to Ogallala Community Hospital. The driver of the 1994 Plymouth Voyager minivan, Terry Sullivan (M), 56, Denver, Colorado, was transported to the Ogallala hospital, then flown to St. Anthony Hospital in in Denver. Two passengers in the SUV, Paola Velez (M), 33, and Martiniana Velez (FM), 53, both of Eagle Pass, Texas, were transported to the Ogallala hospital, then flown to Northern Colorado Medical Center, Greeley. The male driver of the SUV along with a female passenger in the Plymouth minivan, were transported to the Ogallala Community Hospital, where they were admitted in stable condition. The driver of the 2013 Ford van was treated and released.
The crash which occurred in a construction zone with a reduced speed limit of 65 mph and head to head traffic, closed 10 miles of Interstate 80 both east and westbound for approximately six hours.
The investigation into the crash continues.
The Nebraska State Patrol was assisted by the Keith County Sheriff’s Office, Ogallala Police Department and Fire and Rescue Units form Ogallala, Big Springs and Brule.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the Pals extended family. Click here for more.
OGALLALA, Neb. (AP)
UPDATE: Authorities have arrested the driver of a semitrailer that was involved in a fiery crash that killed five people in western Nebraska.
The Nebraska State Patrol says the truck and several vehicles were involved in the collision that happened around 11:30 a.m. Mountain time Sunday near Brule in Keith County. The patrol says the pileup began when the truck struck the back of a van on westbound Interstate 80. Three more vehicles soon were involved.
The patrol says six people were taken to an Ogallala hospital and three of them later were flown to Colorado hospitals. It’s unclear whether any of the six were among the five who died.
The driver was arrested for suspicion of vehicular homicide. Court records don’t show if he’s been formally charged. He was treated at a hospital in Julesburg, Colorado.
Posted By: KLKN Newsroom
The State Patrol says five people have died in a fiery crash that forced the closure of Interstate 80 in western Nebraska for several hours.
Spokeswoman Deb Collins says several vehicles were involved in the crash that happened around 12:30 Sunday afternoon near Brule in Keith County.
The pileup began when a semitrailer truck struck the back of a van in the westbound lanes of the Interstate. Collins says at least two other vehicles were involved, and one of the vehicles caught fire.
Five people died in the crash, but they weren’t immediately identified. Additional people were hurt, but the State Patrol didn’t provide details of how many or the extent of their injuries.
Traffic was still being diverted off I-80 between Oshkosh and Ogallala late Sunday afternoon.