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Truck wreck closes westbound I-80 Tell North Platte what you think
 
Photo by George Lauby
Wrecked tractor after it was pulled from the ditch. (click on images to enlarge)
Photo by George Lauby
The rear of the parked truck was torn open.
Photo by George Lauby
Front end of parked truck (click on images to enlarge)
Photo by George Lauby
A closer look at the seats of Kruger's truck
Photo by George Lauby
Some of the eggs
Photo by George Lauby
Path into ditch
Photo by George Lauby
Driver's side of Kruger's truck

Two semi-trucks collided shortly after noon on Monday about three and half miles west of Sutherland, scattering debris and closing both westbound lanes of I-80.

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The truck that was parked on the right shoulder of the road with mechanical trouble.

A westbound semi-truck drifted onto the shoulder and smacked the left rear corner of a truck parked on the shoulder of the road.

The parked truck had been there all night with mechanical trouble, according to the Nebraska State Patrol.

The moving truck scraped along the side the parked truck, tearing off fenders and wheels as it went. Then it swerved into the north ditch, laid over and came to rest a few feet from the fence at the edge of the I-80 right of way.

Driver Dean Kruger, 47, of Iowa, sustained non-threatening injuries to his hand and was taken to Great Plains Regional Medical Center. His driver's seat was about the only part of the truck cab that remained in one piece.

The parked truck was unoccupied. Although he had been there all night, the driver, Ruslan Bereziychuk of Washington state, finally called a taxi and left the scene shortly before the collision.

The taxi picked Bereziychuk up and drove to nine miles west the Paxton exit to turn around. When the taxi returned in the eastbound lane, Bereziychuk saw the wreckage.

Clean up crews arrived before 2 p.m. and worked through the afternoon to clear debris and prepare to tow the wreckage away.

Bereziychuk was hauling a trailer full of eggs.

The fenders and hoods of both cabs were torn off.

Kruger was hauling a load of flatbed trailers that would fit pickup trucks.

Kruger was cited for driving on the shoulder of the road. Inattentiveness was the apparent cause of the accident, State Trooper Ryan Hayes said.

Herbst Towing cleaned up the truck loaded with eggs and Al's Towing cleaned up the Kruger's truck. Both companies are from North Platte.

A worker with Herbst said it would probably take until dark to get that parked truck towed away.

Westbound traffic was diverted to U.S. Highway 30 through the afternoon and evening.


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 1/27/2014
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