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Fatality Accident

DATE & TIME:  Monday July 1, 2019 at 1953hrs

LOCATION: Highway 77 south of W Chestnut Road, Pickrell, NE         

OFFENSE: Fatality Accident

CASE #: 2019-3462

On July 1, 2019, at approximately 1953hrs Deputies were dispatched along with Beatrice Fire & Rescue, Pickrell Fire Department, Nebraska Department Roads, and Nebraska State Patrol to Highway 77 south of W Chestnut Road to a semi vs. tractor accident. 

A tractor was traveling with its hazard lights blinking and a slow traffic sign on the back northbound on Highway 77 just south of W Chestnut Road as far to the right as possible. A semi, driven by Troy Smith; 38, of Crete, struck the left side of the tractor taking the rear wheel off, after the semi veered at the last second due to the driver being distracted. The driver of the tractor was ejected from the tractor and pronounced dead on the scene. Smith suffered minor injuries. Alcohol and speed were not a factor in the crash. Smith was arrested for Motor Vehicle Homicide and booked into the Gage County Detention Center by the Nebraska State Patrol.

The northbound lane of Highway 77 was closed to travel from 1953hrs to July 2, 2019, at 0234hrs for the investigation of the accident. Nebraska State Patrol is the lead investigative agency in this accident with the Gage County Sheriff Office assisting. Name of the deceased is not being released at this time.  The Next of Kin of the deceased has been notified.

Deputy Sheriff G. McKay #90324

Sheriff Millard “Gus” Gustafson #903