The Sarpy County Sheriff's Office has identified the man who was killed in a fiery, two-vehicle crash on I-80 eastbound in Sarpy County Saturday morning.
A minivan stopped in the right lane just before the Highway 370 exit off of Interstate 80 east and a pickup rear-ended it, sending the van onto the shoulder around 10 a.m. Shortly after impact, the minivan burst into flames. 57-year-old Dennis O'Donnell of Lincoln was pronounced dead at the scene. Autopsy results indicated that O'Donnell died from internal injuries sustained during the crash.
His passenger, 81-year-old Mary Cook of Lincoln was taken by medial helicopter to Creighton University Medical Center and remains in the Intensive Care Unit. The driver of the pickup was not hurt.
Because of the severe damage, identifying the victims was difficult. “We don't have any identification from either people in the van or any way to positively identify the vehicle itself,” said Sarpy County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Kevin Griger. “The license plates were melted, the dashboard and the VIN identification number are completely melted.”
The accident caused eastbound I-80 to be shut down for at least an hour. Traffic was crawling along even after one lane was reopened. Officers don't know why the driver of the minivan stopped on the highway and who was driving.
Anyone with information about the accident is asked to call the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Department at 593-2288.