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Howling winter storm stuns Nebraska, claims 3 lives

OMAHA, Neb. — Authorities say three people from Colorado were killed in a crash as a winter storm slammed Nebraska, likely reaching blizzard status in some parts of the state.

The Nebraska State Highway Patrol says the crash happened Wednesday when a sport utility vehicle went out of control on Interstate 80 near the town of Hershey and struck a semitrailer truck.

The SUV’s driver, 24-year-old Edgar Navarro, was killed, along with his 4-year-old daughter, Alexa Navarro, and 25-year-old Idayalid Bautista. They were from Westminster, Colorado. The patrol says Navarro and Bautista’s 3-year-old and 11-month daughters survived with what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that the crash led to the closure of I-80 for about three hours.

Patrol spokesman Cody Thomas said the agency had responded to more than 40 crashes and nearly 100 calls for motorist seeking help by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

In the Omaha metro area, so many crashes had occurred that some local law enforcement agencies began limiting their response to serious crashes only.