NORTH PLATTE - The Nebraska State Patrol is investigating multiple fatality crashes that occurred during Friday’s winter storm. Troopers responded to 14 crashes and performed 36 motorist assists in areas experiencing winter driving conditions Friday into Saturday morning.    

At approximately 2:10 p.m. Friday, troopers were dispatched to a crash on Interstate 80 near mile marker 184. The crash involved three vehicles. Preliminary investigation shows that a GMC Yukon was westbound on I-80 when it lost control, crossed the median, and struck an eastbound Honda SUV and a semi. The driver of the GMC, Lezter Juarez, 27, and passenger, Janice Arriaga-Martinez, 25, both of Lincoln, were ejected from the vehicle. Both were pronounced deceased at the scene.

All four occupants of the Honda were transported to Great Plains Health in North Platte with serious injuries. Three have since been transferred to UNMC in Omaha for further treatment. The semi driver was not injured. I-80 was reopened at approximately 8:30 p.m.

At approximately 5:45 p.m. Friday, NSP responded to a single-vehicle crash on I-80 near mile marker 211. A Ford pickup had been traveling westbound when it lost control in winter driving conditions and rolled. The driver, identified as Joseph Dodson, 53, of North Platte, was ejected from the vehicle. A passenger and a trooper attempted life-saving measures until EMS arrived. Dodson was transported to Gothenburg Health Hospital where he was pronounced deceased. The passenger in the vehicle suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Winter driving conditions were expected to continue in many areas of the state Saturday. NSP urged all motorists to reduce speeds in winter driving conditions. 

The Wyoming Highway Patrol investigated 125 accidents, cleared 64 road hazards, assisted 145 stranded motorists and responded to 911 calls for service during the same storm.