Man dies in collision near Merna

Two people were taken to the hospital after rescue crews and volunteers helped free them from an overturned truck after a head-on collision on Highway 92 Thursday west of Merna. A man in the second vehicle died in the crash.

Numerous members of the public responded to assist Thursday morning near Merna after a crash on Nebraska Highway 92 that left one person dead and three others injured, the State Patrol said.

About 8:40 a.m. Thursday, a 2002 Dodge pickup crossed the center line on Highway 92 and struck a 2016 Ford F-350, which was pulling a trailer hauling a skid loader. The crash happened about 2 miles west of Merna.

The driver of the Dodge, Roman Romero, 40, of Temple, Texas, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a press release from the patrol. 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 truck, but the driver, Kevin Jensen, 49, and rear passenger, Erik Jensen, 19, both of Broken Bow, were trapped. Brock Jensen was then able to flag down help.

As rescue personnel arrived, it became apparent that help would be necessary to free the two men trapped in the pickup, the patrol said. Volunteers from the Merna, Broken Bow and Arnold fire departments responded, 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 and even nearby farmers and community members.

After about three hours, crews were able to free the two men, who were then flown to Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney. Erik Jensen has since been released from the hospital and Kevin Jensen was in good condition as of Friday morning.

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