One person dead after four-vehicle crash near Mahoney State Park

ASHLAND, Neb. -- One person is dead after a car accident in eastern Nebraska.

The Nebraska State Patrol says the accident happened on Interstate 80 at Mahoney State Park Thursday morning shortly after 6:30 a.m.

Authorities say four vehicles, including two commercial vehicles, were involved in the crash. The driver of one of those vehicles died in the collision at mile marker 423, between the Greenwood and Mahoney State Park exits.

After preliminary investigation, troopers believe the crash occurred when a westbound semi-truck/tanker trailer attempted to pass a motorcycle. The semi made contact with another semi-truck/trailer that was also driving westbound, pushing that semi into the left lane, colliding with a van. The first semi then over-corrected and struck the motorcycle and rider, according to the Nebraska State Patrol.

The motorcycle rider, Patrick Cunningham, 54, of South Bend, was pronounced deceased at the scene. No other injuries were reported by anyone involved.

The crash remains under investigation. NSP was assisted by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office. Interstate 80 was closed in the area for westbound traffic for approximately six hours.

Westbound I-80 traffic was being forced to exit at the Mahoney State Park Interchange after the accident. Traffic was rerouted through U.S. Highway 6 for several hours, eventually reopening early Thursday afternoon.