On November 16, 2020, at approximately 3:44 p.m. the Custer County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two-vehicle accident 4 miles west of Merna on Highway 92. Johnny Westfahl, age 53, of Haigler, NE was driving a 2006 Peterbilt semi west on Highway 92. Brett Franzen, 27, of Broken Bow, NE was driving a John Deere tractor west on Highway 92, in front of the semi.
The semi passed the tractor as the tractor attempted to make a left-hand turn onto a county road. The semi impacted the rear of the tractor. Franzen was ejected from the tractor.
Both drivers were transported to the Jennie Melham Hospital for treatment of their injuries. Franzen was transported to Melham Medical Center with severe life-threatening injuries and later transported to a Kearney hospital.
Merna Fire and Rescue, Broken Bow Rescue, Nebraska State Patrol, and the Custer County Sheriff’s Office were at the scene.