MERNA — Emergency responders from three agencies and community members responded to a fatal two-vehicle crash Thursday morning west of Merna.
Around 8:40 a.m. a 2002 Dodge pickup crossed the center line on U.S. Highway 92 and hit a 2016 Ford F-350 pickup pulling a trailer hauling a skid loader. The driver of the Dodge, Roman Romero, 40, of Temple, Texas, was pronounced dead at the scene, said a Nebraska State Patrol news release.
The crash caused the Ford’s trailer to break loose, tip and pin the skid loader against the Ford pickup as the pickup rolled onto the driver’s side. The front seat passenger in the Ford pickup, Brock Jensen, 19, of Broken Bow, was able to get out of the pickup and summon help.
However, the driver, Jensen’s father, Kevin Jensen, 49, of Broken Bow and Brock Jensen’s twin brother, Erik Jensen, 19, also of Broken Bow, and a rear passenger, were trapped, the release said.
It took rescue personnel nearly three hours to free the men who were then airlifted to CHI Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney. Erik Jensen later was released from the hospital and Kevin Jensen was listed in good condition Friday morning, said the release.
Volunteers from the Merna, Broken Bow and Arnold volunteer fire departments responded to the scene, as well as personnel from Hunter Towing, Myers Construction, the Custer County Sheriff’s Office, Nebraska State Patrol, Good Samaritan Air Care, LifeNet Air ambulance, Custer Public Power, nearby farmers and community members.