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Trooper seriously injured in head-on crashTell North Platte what you think
Photo by McCook Daily Gazette
Van Stelton's car in the McCook city impound yard.
Courtesy Photo≠Image
Jeffrey Van Stelton

Nebraska State Patrol trooper Jeffrey Van Stelton was seriously injured early Sunday morning when an unlicensed 17-year old driver crashed into his patrol car, nearly head-on.

Van Stelton was westbound on U.S. Highway 34 just before 2 a.m. Sunday about four miles west of Stratton when a 2008 Ford Fusion crossed the centerline and hit his 2010 Dodge Charger, Nebraska State Patrol spokeswoman Deb Collins said.

Van Steltonís car suffered extensive front-end damage came to rest in the south ditch, and then burst into flames. The other vehicle stopped on the highway, Collins said.

Van Stelton, 28, was taken by ambulance to the McCook hospital, and flown by helicopter to Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney with injuries to his pelvis, legs and arm.

He is in serious but stable condition, Collins said Tuesday.

The 17-year-old man driving the other vehicle was taken by ambulance to the Benkelman hospital, treated for non-life threatening injuries and released Monday.

Antonia Valdez, 40, a passenger in the 17-year-olds car, was taken to the McCook hospital and later flown to Good Samaritan Hospital with non-life threatening leg injuries.

The 17-year-old did not have a driverís license. Both the driver and passenger are believed to be from the Denver metro area, Collins said.

A six-year veteran of the Nebraska State Patrol, Van Stelton is assigned to Troop D in North Platte and stationed in McCook.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 4/23/2012
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