A 42-year-old Illinois resident is dead following a single-vehicle accident involving a tractor trailer on Interstate 80.
According to a press release from the Cheyenne County Attorney, multiple agencies—including the Nebraska State Patrol Hazardous Materials Team—were dispatched to the scene of the crash on the evening of December 3. The tractor and trailer were blocking both sides of westbound Interstate 80 traffic with the driver presumed deceased. This was later confirmed by Cheyenne County Deputy Josh Deines.
While investigating the accident, witnesses who had been following the semi-truck before the accident told the Cheyenne County Sheriff’s Office it had drifted from the interstate onto the concrete shoulder and then grass shoulder. At one point, according to the witnesses, both the tractor and trailer were on the grass shoulder.
The semi-truck then turned back onto Interstate 80, causing the tractor and trailer to turn onto its passenger side. Witnesses told the Cheyenne County Sheriff’s Office the truck had been traveling about 70 miles per hour and they had not seen any brake lights.
Another witness, the driver of another semi-truck, said he approached the windshield of the truck and saw the driver on the passenger door. He and another person were able to break the windshield, at which time it appeared the driver had died.
The driver has been identified as Mohammad Pirzad of Buffalo Grove, Illinois. The cause of death has been ruled as massive blunt force trauma due to a motor vehicle accident. The truck contained a variety of chemicals including acetone, acetonitrile, isopropanol, ethanol and ammonia. The chemicals were contained to the accident site.
Other responding agencies dispatched by the Cheyenne County Emergency Communication Center included the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department, the Potter Volunteer Fire Department, Regional West Medical Center Emergency Medical Services, the Cheyenne County Sheriff’s Office, Nebraska State Patrol, Region 21 Emergency Management and the Nebraska Department of Roads.