Semi driver killed after crossing median, hitting another semi on I-80

A semitrailer truck crossed the median on Interstate 80 near Beaver Crossing and slammed head-on into another semi, leading to a truck driver’s death.

According to Capt. Lance Rogers of the Nebraska State Patrol:

About 4:25 p.m. Wednesday, a semi with a car-hauler trailer was eastbound on the Interstate when it struck the rear of a small sport utility vehicle that was traveling at 50 mph with its hazard lights on due to a spare tire. It then crossed the median and struck the other semi.

The driver of the semi that crossed the median, Mitchell Quandt, 30, of Yutan, Nebraska, was killed. The driver of the westbound semi, Claudio Maurelia, 73, of Inverness, Illinois, was taken to a hospital in York.

Two people in the SUV, including driver Rodney Wilkerson, 53, of Glenvil, Nebraska, were not injured.

Maurelia and Wilkerson were wearing seat belts, the patrol said, and Quandt was not restrained.

The semi that crossed the median had a cargo of cars, some of which were strewn about the scene after having been ejected from the trailer.

Westbound traffic was diverted at the Goehner exit as the State Patrol investigated and the area was cleaned up. There was a secondary crash in backed-up traffic leading to the exit, but there were no serious injuries reported.

One lane of westbound I-80 was eventually opened, and around 8:25 p.m. both lanes were opened.