Black ice is blamed for a four vehicle collision early Wednesday morning on I-80 near Maxwell. According to a Nebraska State Patrol spokesperson the accident happened around 2:25 a.m. In the bitter cold weather, a semi rig jackknifed on black ice and was hit by a 1998 Lincoln Continental driven by Dale Terrell of Clive, Iowa.
Terrell suffered a broken ankle and passenger David Nicholas, of Carlyle, Iowa suffered a possible concussion.
A 2005 Dodge pickup driven by Dilbert Van Matre of Gibbon then hit the same ice and slid into the semi. Van Matre was also transported to the med center with symptoms of a concussion.
A second semi driven by a Paul Smith (no address listed) pulling double trailers also skidded into the wreckage.
Nebraska State Troopers arrived on scene at 2:51 a.m. All four men were taken by ambulance to Great Plains Regional Medical Center in North Platte.
The westbound lanes of I-80 were closed for more than two hours while the road was cleared. Traffic was diverted to U.S. Highway 30. I-80 reopened around 5:10 a.m.
Black ice is from thin transparent ice on a black roadway that is nearly impossible to see because the pavement shows through the ice, so it looks the color of the road.
The state patrol urges drivers to be vigilant and cautious when driving on highways in frigid weather. Motorists should turn off your cruise control in wintery weather because it can cause a car to unexpectedly accelerate and skid, the patrol said.