On February 14, 2010 at approximately1200 hours, the Gage County Sheriff’s Office, Homestead National Monument Park Ranger, Beatrice Fire and Rescue, Beatrice Rural Fire, Plymouth Fire and Rescue, and Dewitt Fire and Rescue responded to multiple accidents involving 13 vehicles on Highway 4 between SW 117th and SW 131st Roads.
The initial accident occurred when a 2003 Pontiac Montana driven by 35 year old Shawn D Cole of DeWitt was traveling westbound on Highway 4 and slowed his vehicle to almost a stop because of poor visibility due to blowing snow. A 1993 Cadillac, driven by 23 year old Brittany C Sinsel of Minden, collided with the back of the 2003 Pontiac Montana because of the poor visibility. Sinsel and her passenger, 25 year old Bryan Fetterolf, reported no injuries. Cole reported minor injuries but was not transported to the hospital. Seatbelts were being utilized and alcohol was not a contributing factor.
The second accident occurred when a 2005 Ford Explorer, driven by 76 year old Wayne Schroeder of rural Beatrice, collided with the back of Sinsel’s 1993 Cadillac. A 2002 Chevrolet Impala, driven by 25 year old Brandon Lillibridge of Beatrice, collided with the rear of Schroeder’s Explorer shortly after Schroeder collided with Sinsel’s Cadillac. A 2008 Ford F250 pickup, driven by 49 year old Michael Frase of Beatrice, was traveling behind Lillibridge’s Impala and stopped because of the accidents in front of him. A 2002 Ford minivan, driven by 30 year old Jennifer Washburn of Plymouth, collided with the back of Frase’s Ford F250. This collision caused Frase’s Ford F250 pickup to collide with the back of the 2002 Chevrolet Impala in front of him.
Schroeder and Lillibridge reported no injuries. Frase and his two passengers, 41 year old Michelle Chenoweth and 7 year old Waylon Chenoweth of Beatrice, reported no injuries. Jennifer Washburn and one of her passengers, 4 year old Cael Washburn of Plymouth, reported no injuries. The other passengers, 5 year old Skye Washburn and 4 year old Catrina Washburn of Plymouth, reported minor injuries but were not transported to the hospital. Seatbelts were being utilized and alcohol was not a contributing factor.
The third accident occurred when a 1995 Dodge Dakota, driven by 32 year old Christopher Washburn of Plymouth, was traveling west on Highway 4 and stopped to assist with the previously listed accidents. A 2003 GMC Envoy, driven by 54 year old Donald Vopalensky of Lincoln, collided with the back of the 1995 Dodge Dakota. Chris Washburn and his 13 year old passenger, Trevor Washburn of Plymouth, reported no injuries. Donald Vopalensky and his three passengers, 39 year old Samantha Vopalensky, 39 year old Joann Sanders and 38 year old Luke Sanders, all of Lincoln reported no injuries. Seatbelts were being utilized and alcohol was not a contributing factor.
The fourth accident occurred when a 1989 GMC pickup, driven by 28 year old Bryan Neal of Beatrice, stopped because of the motor vehicle accidents previously listed. A 2000 Pontiac Grand Am driven by 48 year old Nancy Criner of Plymouth, stopped because of the previously listed accidents. A 2006 Pontiac Montana, driven by 43 year old Rolan Knust stopped in the roadway because of the previously listed accidents. A 2005 Ford F150 driven by April Privett of Home Kansas, collided with the 2006 Pontiac Montana. After being struck by Privett’s vehicle, the 2006 Pontiac Montana collided with Criner’s 2000 Pontiac Grand Am. After being struck by the 2006 Pontiac Montana, the 2000 Pontiac Grand Am collided with the 1989 GMC pickup.
Bryan Neal reported minor injuries. Nancy Criner and her passenger, 43 year old Matthew Criner of Plymouth, also reported minor injuries. Rolan Knust and his passengers, 15 year old Jared Knust, 17 year old Emma Knust, 9 year old Riley Knust, and 7 year old Ethan Knust, all of Plymouth were transported to Beatrice Community Hospital for their injuries. Another passenger in the 2006 Pontiac Montana was 47 year old Sandra Knust of Plymouth who reported minor injuries. April Privett and one of her passengers, 44 year old Amy Privett of Home, Kansas were transported to Beatrice Community Hospital for their injuries. 8 year old Destiny Rowden of Home, Kansas and 23 year old Heather Privett of Plymouth were both occupants of the 2005 Ford F150. Destiny Rowden reported minor injuries and Heather Privett reported no injuries. Seatbelts were being utilized and alcohol was not a contributing factor.
The fifth accident occurred when DeWitt Fire and Rescue responded to the scene. A 2003 ambulance driven by Dale Seachord of DeWitt was traveling east on Highway 4 entering the accident scene when it collided with the 2002 Ford minivan driven by Jennifer Washburn. No injuries occurred from this collision, seatbelts were being utilized, and alcohol is not a contributing factor.
All accidents were the result of poor visibility due to white out conditions and citations are pending at this time.
All events occurred in Gage County Nebraska.
Deputy Byelick #90315
Sheriff Millard “Gus” Gustafson #903