Diagram of accident from police report. Sale was in vehicle 1.
A car traveled across four lanes at Jeffers and Fifth St. Thursday and hit another car, marking the second accident at the intersection since traffic lights were removed Aug 1. Kathleen Sale, 34, of North Platte was driving east on Fifth during the noon hour toward downtown in a 2002 Chevy Tahoe.
Sale hit Nicole Schmidt, 23, of North Platte, who was headed north in a 2001 Dodge Ram pickup.
The right front corner of Sale’s Tahoe hit the left front corner of Schmidt’s pickup, police reported. No one was injured, but altogether, the vehicles sustained an estimated $8,000 in damages -- $5,000 to the pickup and $3,000 to the Tahoe.
Sale failed to yield the right-of-way, according to both the police investigator and a witness. Sale was not cited.
A previous collision occurred on Aug. 13 at the same intersection.
In that wreck, Amber Lovenburg, 17, was westbound but stopped at the stop sign at Fifth. She told police that she could not see far enough up Jeffers St. to check approaching traffic, so she crept out in front of the stop sign to look to her left.
At that point, a Dodge mini-van driven by Joni L. Morash, 32, of Stapleton was heading north on Jeffers and Lovenburg hit it.
Morash’s van was totaled. Her children were with her, but no one was injured. Lovenburg’s car sustained $5,000 in estimated damages.
The traffic light was removed Aug. 1 at the intersection, as well as the intersection two blocks away at Third and Jeffers, by order of the Nebraska Department of Roads.
District 6 Engineer Gary Thayer said the removal would make Jeffers St. better for travelers and Sheriff Jerome Kramer said fewer accidents were expected on the busy street, which is part of a border-to-border north-south highway – U.S. 83. Kramer cited rear-end accidents on Jeffers as a problem when the lights were in place.
But critics predicted there would be more accidents, in large part because buildings at the corners of both intersections make it hard for motorists on Fifth and Third to see approaching traffic on Jeffers.