Man trapped in sinkhole overnight is rescued in Custer County

Custer County Sheriff's Deputy Barrett Gibbons examines the sinkhole site Wednesday after the driver was airlifted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.

CUSTER COUNTY — A man was found Wednesday after being trapped in a sinkhole under his vehicle since Tuesday evening.

He was pulled out and airlifted to a Kearney hospital.

A man driving a red Chevrolet S10 Blazer had been reported missing by a relative at 10:21 a.m. Wednesday, Custer County Sheriff’s Deputy Barrett Gibbons said. The man was last seen driving north of Cozad about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Searching the area, Gibbons located the Blazer in a cornfield near the intersection of Roads 417 and 774 about 1 p.m.

The vehicle had fallen into a sinkhole and was suspended above a further 10-foot drop underneath. Gibbons said the driver had attempted to get out of the vehicle but fell underneath.

Cozad Fire and Rescue Assistant Fire Chief Gary Banzhaf said Air Care from Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney was called. Cozad Rescue arrived on scene at 1:39 p.m.

Cozad Fire and Rescue responded with an ambulance and a utility rig along with 11 members, said Rescue Chief Brian Woldt. Law enforcement on scene were the Custer County Sheriff’s Office, Dawson County Sheriff’s Office and Nebraska State Patrol.

Cozad Rescue used a ladder crew to get down to the driver, put him in a harness and pulled him out of the sinkhole. Banzhaf said the man was stabilized and given oxygen. He was reported as being dehydrated as well.

The driver was loaded onto the Good Samaritan Air Care helicopter at 2:37 p.m. and transported to Kearney for further treatment.

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