The victim and the apparent cause of a fatal interstate crash in the Panhandle have been identified. A blown tire is responsible for a multiple-vehicle crash that killed a man near Sidney on Thursday morning.
The accident happened at approximately 11:30, a half-mile east of Sidney, causing a ten-mile stretch of Interstate-80 to close until the evening hours.
According to the Nebraska State Patrol, 56-year-old Wayne Whallon of Clay City, Indiana, was driving a pickup truck pulling a fifth-wheel camper when the pickup blew a tire causing Whallon to lose control. He crossed the median and hit a tanker truck carrying a flammable liquid near its rear axle, taking it out.
The tanker hit a semi in the lane next to it, forcing it off the road. The tanker slid 300 feet and was engulfed in flames. A Chevy Suburban behind the wreck drove through the camper and ended up off the road. Whallon was killed in the crash. The tanker truck driver from Amarillo, Texas and the Suburban driver from Sinclair, Wyoming were treated and released from the hospital.
The second semi truck driver was not injured. All three survivors were wearing seatbelts. The Sidney Volunteer Fire Department was also on the scene battling a large grass fire that started because of the wreck.
Thanks to Dave Collins, KSID, Sidney