Friday, September 21, 2018
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Toddler killed in I-80 crash

Two passengers critically injured.

Sirens blared on and off for about an hour Monday night as local rescue personnel ferried the injured from Interstate 80 to Gothenburg Memorial Hospital.

Helicopter rotor blades also sliced the evening sky as a critically injured 2-year-old ended up at Bryan LGH Hospital in Lincoln where he was pronounced dead, according to Nebraska State Patrol public information coordinator Deb Collins.

Collins identified the child as Joshua Atkins of Brush, CO.

Jason Wagner, local rescue captain, said Atkins and two passengers suffered trauma-related injuries following a single-car rollover into the median around 7:25 p.m.

After they were taken to GMH, Collins said 23-year-old Katie Griggs of Brush, CO—Atkins’ mother—was transported by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital and a 37-year-old male from Kimball was taken to Creighton Medical Center in Omaha.

The male has not yet been identified because family members have not been notified.

Both were in critical condition, she said.

The driver of the 1992 Geo Prism, 22-year-old John Horn of Julesburg, CO, was treated and released, Collins said.

Neither of the passengers was wearing a seat belt and they were ejected from the vehicle, she said, noting that Atkins was riding in an improperly secured car seat.

Horn, who was wearing a seat belt, remained in the vehicle.

Collins said the accident occurred when Horn attempted to pass a semi-truck trailer in the westbound lane.

“He then entered the median, over corrected and the vehicle rolled,” she said, noting that Horn was later cited for not having an operator’s license.

The accident is under investigation.

Assistant fire chief Mark Ostergard, who directed local rescue personnel, said fire units were on the scene for about an hour to control traffic.

He noted that traffic in the westbound lane was stopped for about half an hour until the accident scene was clear.

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