A fatal collision involving three vehicles shook Interstate 80 near mile marker 184 on Friday afternoon, prompting a swift response from NSP troopers. Preliminary investigations reveal that a westbound pickup truck lost control, veering across the median, resulting in a collision with a Honda SUV and a semi-truck.
The crash claimed the lives of 27-year-old Lester Juarez and 25-year-old Janice Arriaga-Martinez, who were passengers in the truck. Both were ejected from the vehicle and tragically pronounced deceased at the accident site. The SUV’s driver and three passengers sustained critical injuries and were promptly transported to Great Plains Health in North Platte for urgent medical attention. Three individuals were further transferred to the United Nations Medical Centre in Omaha for additional care. Fortunately, the semi-truck driver emerged unharmed.
Seth Maynard posted on Facebook,
“I was blessed to see Lezter grow from a kid to a man, and it broke my heart when I heard about him and Jenny passing. Sharing this for anyone who can help support their lovely children and the families. Robbie has always been a brother to me, and their family has always treated me as one of their own. Love y’all”
By 8:30 PM on Friday, Interstate 80 resumed normal traffic flow following the accident. While the tragic incident unfolded, the National Weather Service issued severe weather warnings for regions southeast of Lincoln, including Falls City and Beatrice. Forecasts anticipated snowfall ranging between one to four inches on Saturday. Parts of Nebraska, particularly the panhandle cities like Crawford and Alliance, reported an estimated five inches of snowfall, while the border regions of Nebraska and Wyoming received around six inches. Scottsbluff experienced over eight and a half inches of snow on Saturday.
In light of the weather conditions, the Nebraska Department of Transportation urges drivers to check 511 for travel updates and exercise caution while driving. The City of Lincoln took proactive measures by spreading granular salt pre-wet with brine across bridges, overpasses, and problematic areas on roads Saturday afternoon.
The Arriaga family plans to release Jenny Arriaga’s obituary and funeral details in the coming days.