CUSTER COUNTY— Wind is likely to blame for an accident near Oconto on Thursday, January 14 that overturned a semi and trailer.
According to the accident report from the Custer County Sheriff’s Office, Daniel Brien 62 of Dracut, Massachusetts, was driving a red 2020 Kenworth semi-truck with an enclosed trailer northbound on Nebraska Highway 21. Brien told officers he was slowing down to pull over when a gust of wind forced the semi into a skid before it tipped onto its passenger side.
According to the report, the semi skidded over 215 feet before overturning and sliding approximately 50 feet on its side. A witness stated that she was also traveling northbound on NE Highway 21 and was following the semi at speeds of around 45 mph when a wind gust picked up and tipped over the semi.
Brien was taken to Melham Medical Center by Broken Bow EMS with a suspected minor injury to his neck. A seatbelt was used and airbags did not deploy in the vehicle.
As a result of the accident, Nebraska Department of Roads signs were damaged totaling approximately $105. The semi was listed as totaled and had to be towed away from the scene.
According to the National Weather Service in North Platte, on Thursday wind gusts were reported around Broken Bow at 68 mph from the west with sustained speeds around 51 mph out of the north.