One killed in fiery crash north of Hastings

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HASTINGS, Neb. (NBC Nebraska) -- The Nebraska State Patrol has identified the man who was killed in a two-vehicle crash north of Hastings Wednesday night.

NSP told WOWT 6 News sister station NBC Nebraska 71-year-old Robert J. Samuelson, of Hastings, died due to the crash. Investigators said a northbound vehicle, a black Lincoln, crossed the median of Highway 281 near the intersection of 82nd street and collided with his Chrysler head on.

The driver of the northbound vehicle was taken to Mary Lanning Healthcare with unknown injuries.

NSP says the Chrysler became fully engulfed in flames after the collision and both vehicles ended up in the ditch to the west of the southbound lanes.

The vehicle fire spread to the trees in the nearby ditch, causing both the Hastings Rural Fire Department and the Hastings Fire Department to battle the blaze.

Both fire departments were joined by the Nebraska State Patrol and Adams County Sheriff's Department on scene.

Southbound lanes on Highway 281 and one northbound lane were closed for several hours as investigators work to reconstruct the scene.

The name of the person driving the northbound vehicle has not been released.

NSP is still investigating at this time what caused the northbound driver to cross the median into the southbound lanes.

Both lanes of Highway 281 are back open.