Dec 02, 2019 7:47 PM

Troopers assist 400 motorists during snowy Thanksgiving weekend

Posted Dec 02, 2019 7:47 PM

LINCOLN — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol were busy throughout Thanksgiving weekend, during the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign. Troopers worked overtime, responding to multiple winter storms across the state and assisting more than 400 motorists in need of help from Wednesday through Sunday.

“Two major snow events that covered much of Nebraska made Thanksgiving travel difficult,” said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “We’d like to thank the vast majority of drivers who heeded the advice of NSP and NDOT. Adjusting travel plans to avoid the worst conditions undoubtedly prevented dangerous situations.”

This weekend marked the annual Thanksgiving “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which included enforcement operations from more than 30 law enforcement agencies across Nebraska. NSP’s operation was made possible thanks in part to a grant for $20,800 from the Nebraska Department of Transportation – Highway Safety Office.

During the enforcement effort, troopers arrested 17 people for driving under the influence of alcohol. Troopers also issued citations for speeding (278), driving under suspension (28), open container (8), minor in possession (5), no proof of insurance (12), no seat belt (7), and improper child restraint (4). Troopers also performed 407 motorist assists, responded to 48 crashes, and assisted other agencies with 78 events from Wednesday through Sunday.

“As we move through the winter months, drivers should always check 511 before traveling,” said Bolduc. “Our partners at the Department of Transportation deserve tremendous credit for their work this weekend to get Nebraska moving again during back-to-back winter storms.”

Motorists should also keep a winter weather survival kit in your vehicle as you travel. Some basic items to include are a First Aid Kit, phone charger, ice scraper, shovel, small bag of sand, flashlight with extra batteries, blankets or sleeping bags, extra clothing and winter accessories, jumper cables, tow rope, tool kit, matches, candles, red flag or bandana, high energy or dehydrated foods, and bottled water.


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Dec 02, 2019 7:47 PM
South Dakota airplane crash kills 9 in extended family


Associated Press

Nine members of an extended Idaho family died when their plane crashed in a South Dakota field as they were heading home after a hunting trip.

Travis Garza, president of the wellness company Kyani, said in a Facebook post Sunday that the crash near Chamberlain Saturday afternoon killed brothers and founders Jim and Kirk Hansen. Garza said the crash also killed their father, Jim Hansen Sr.; Kirk Hansen’s children, Stockton and Logan; his sons-in-law, Kyle Taylor and Tyson Dennert; and Jim Hansen’s son, Jake, and grandson, Houston.

Garza identified the injured as Kirk’s son, Josh, and Jim’s son, Matt, and son-in-law, Thomas Long. All three were hospitalized.

The Hansens were executives with Kyani, as well as with Conrad & Bischoff, a petroleum products distributor, and KJ’s Super Stores.

East Idaho News, which first identified the victims, reported that the party had been on a hunting trip to South Dakota, one of the nation’s top destinations for pheasants.

Brian Wood, owner of a funeral home in Idaho Falls, lamented the deaths on Facebook. He called the Hansens “pillars of our community” and wrote that they had offered many times over the years to help pay expenses for someone who might not be able to afford it.

“Our community has a dark cloud over it now,” Wood wrote. “They will never know the many lives they touched.”

Twelve people were aboard the Pilatus PC-12 bound for Idaho Falls when it crashed within a mile after takeoff in Chamberlain about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said.

Federal investigators — one from Washington, D.C. and two from the Chicago area — likely would reach the crash site on Monday, Knudson said. Local authorities were guarding the site on Sunday.

Chamberlain and parts of South Dakota were under a winter storm warning Saturday and Brule County emergency manager Katheryn Benton said planes were unable to land at Chamberlain at the time of the crash.

Weather will be among several factors investigators will review, although no cause for the crash has been determined, Knudson said.