Tragically, there was a fatal accident last week on Nebraska’s Interstate 80 involving a semi truck and an RV.
Both vehicles were traveling westbound on I-80 when the tractor-trailer hit the back of the camper five miles east of Gothenburg. The impact caused both vehicles to go out of control and jackknife, colliding with a Platte River bridge railing on the highway.
Shortly after the collision, both vehicles were covered in flames, and multiple people were injured in the accident. A passenger sleeping in the truck’s resting compartment was killed in the impact. The victim was Andrzej Piaszczynski, 56, of Rolling Meadows, Ill. The driver, Bogdan Kaszuba of Des Plains, Ill., was taken to a nearby hospital.
In the camper were six passengers, all of whom suffered assorted injuries as well. Two of the passengers were children, ages 12 and 15. The 12-year-old eventually had to be taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries received in the accident. The driver of the RV suffered a broken leg. Complete details on the nature of the injuries suffered by everyone involved are not available, but according to police reports from the scene, no additional fatalities are expected.
The accident shut down traffic on the westbound lanes for several hours, with roads not reopening until about 7 a.m. Even then, traffic was not moving normally until about 3 p.m.
The accident highlights the potential severity of collisions with semi trucks. Almost immediately, both vehicles were on fire, and someone was killed outright in the impact. Both vehicles went out of control and jackknifed off the road. Had the accident taken place at a later hour or in stiffer traffic, the situation could easily have been much more dire, involving more motorists and other cars in a chain-reaction from the original collision.