A multi-vehicle accident Monday evening resulted in the closure of Highway 15 in eastern Stanton County for about five hours, with one minor injury.
Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger said the call came in about 5:45 p.m. Monday. He described the accident as follows.
A 13-year old driver of a John Deere tractor was headed north on Highway when a northbound semi-truck on Highway 15 passed him. The semi, which was driven by a 63-year-old man from Council Bluffs, Iowa, passed the tractor in a no-passing zone.
While passing the tractor, the semi clipped the tractor, sending both the tractor and semi at least partially into the ditch. Next, another northbound semi came across the accident and swerved to miss the collision, which subsequently hit a pickup, both of which were going north.
The 13-year-old boy was transported to St. Francis Hospital in West Point by Clarkson Rescue where he was treated and released, the sheriff said. The 63-year-old truck driver was cited for unlawful passing.
“We were fortunate that there weren’t more injuries,” the sheriff said. “We have had four fatalities involving semis in that three-mile stretch in the past five years.”
The three-mile stretch is south of Highway 32 where there are some large hills.
Stanton County Emergency Management and the Nebraska Department of Transportation assisted with traffic control. Highway 15 was closed for 8 miles from Highway 32 to Highway 91 while the accident was investigated on Monday evening.
The Norfolk HazMat Team was called to assist as there was fuel was leaking, and there is a nearby creek, causing a concern, Unger said.