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Three injured in wreck on U.S. 83 - updatedTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Photo by Lincoln County Detention Center
Koby R. Cooper, 2014

Two vehicles collided on U.S. Highway 83 in northern Lincoln County late Monday afternoon, sending three people to the hospital.

Around 4:20 p.m., a southbound Ford van crossed the center line and hit an oncoming Chevy S-10 pickup carrying two people.

Then, an approaching northbound semi-truck carrying containers of hydrochloric acid swerved to avoid the wreckage, spilling one container on the highway, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said.

Koby Cooper, 39, of North Platte was driving the van. Deputies at the scene suspected Cooper was under the influence of a narcotic. A chemical test was administered. Charges are possible when the test results are known, the sheriff’s office said.

Florence Lemmer, 73, was driving the S-10 pickup. James Chapman, 88, was a passenger. Both are from Stapleton.

Cooper, Lemmer and Chapman were taken by ambulance to Great Plains Health in North Platte with non-life-threatening injuries, the sheriff’s office said. The semi-driver was Todd Stapleton, 35, of Cheyenne, Wyo. He was not injured.

The wreck occured near mile marker 101, about 15 miles north of North Platte.

Two deputies at the scene were exposed to hydrochloric fumes and expressed discomfort, but remained at the scene, a sheriff's spokesman said.

North Platte’s hazardous materials response team was summoned to clean up the spill. The Logan County Sheriff's Office and Logan County Volunteer Fire Department also responded, as well as the Arnold Fire Department and North Platte Rescue. The highway was closed for nearly four hours while the wreckage and spill were cleared.

Cooper has a prior record of charges in 2014 and earlier, mostly domestic assaults, according to Lincoln County Sheriff's records. The investigation continues, the sheriff's office said.

(This report was updated at noon Tuesday.)

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 7/10/2017
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