1 killed, 1 flown to Omaha hospital after head-on crash near Yutan
Police, residents in the area say the stretch of West Center Road is dangerous
WATERLOO, Neb. (WOWT) - A head-on crash a few miles east of Yutan left one driver dead and another one severely injured on Wednesday morning.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said one driver was found pinned and dead in their vehicle. Their identity has not been released yet, pending notification of their next of kin.
The other driver was ejected from their vehicle, according to the DCSO report. That driver was air-lifted to Nebraska Medical Center.
The crash was reported at 8:04 a.m. just west of 264th Street and West Center Road, closing the main county thoroughfare up to Campanile Road during the morning commute.
Investigators said a gray Jeep was driving eastbound on West Center Road when it crossed the center line and hit an oncoming white Chevy Impala, causing it to slide into the ditch on the north side of the road.
DCSO said the crash is still under investigation and that an autopsy has been scheduled for Thursday.
Those who live and work in the area told 6 News that there are always vehicle crashes on this stretch of road.
“There’s a lot of car accidents where people are seriously hurt or injured and a lot of people dying,” said Toni Payton, who lives in the area.
“Probably within the last maybe month, at least seven to eight every two weeks it seems like — even if it’s just a fender bender,” said local resident Christina Ackerman. “Yeah, there’s a lot of people I know that had accidents on this road.”
Law enforcement agree this stretch of road is dangerous.
“This is a bad stretch of road — its high speed,” an OPD spokesman said. “There’s a lot of open views; people should be able to see what’s coming at them... especially at 264(th) and Center, people come through this stop sign all the time and it’s high-speed highway traffic. And they’re not moving fast enough, and we have a lot of collisions there.”
People who travel in that area say the speed limit there — 60 miles per hour — along with the large number of heavy trucks that move through the area doesn’t help with the safety situation.
Payton said she’s always on the defense when she drives that stretch of road.
“I make sure that I stay extra vigilant watch the cars coming at me — make sure I have an exit point — so a lot of defensive driving, making sure I know which direction I need to go if somebody does come at me,” she said.
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