BRIDGEPORT, Neb. — Authorities say two women and three children died when their vehicle collided with a truck on a Nebraska Panhandle highway.
The crash occurred about 6 p.m. Sunday, around 10 miles north of Bridgeport on U.S. Highway 385.
The Nebraska State Patrol says a northbound sport utility vehicle went out of control during heavy rain, crossed the center line and hit the oncoming truck.
The patrol says all five people in the SUV were killed, including the driver, 30-year-old Amy Rednest of Alliance, and an adult passenger, 31-year-old Vanessa Gomez, of Westminster, Colorado.
Also killed were 14-year-old Nevaeh Montoya, of Westminster; 13-year-old Emma Reza; and 9-year-old Falicia Reza, both of Alliance.
The patrol says the truck driver, 61-year-old Brian Schmer, of Hudson, Colorado, was taken to a hospital in Bridgeport with non-life-threatening injuries.
According to Juan Montoya, the husband of Vanessa and father of Nevaeh, the two families involved all spent a day together at a lake for Nevaeh’s birthday.
When storms rolled in, they packed into two cars to get home. The girls were in one car and the guys in another.
Juan says he was in a car a short distance behind the girls’ SUV when he rode up on the accident. Montoya and his son jumped out of the car they were in to try to help their loved ones.
The family of the Westminster victims has established a Facebook fundraiser to bring their bodies back to the Denver area.