Bluffs woman in fatal accident still in critical condition

A Scottsbluff woman is still in critical condition at a Grand Island hospital following an accident near in eastern Nebraska Wednesday night that killed 39 year old Jennifer Jones of Torrington. 34 year old Katie Gurnsey of Scottsbluff, like Jones, was riding in the back seat of the eastbound vehicle when it was struck by a westbound semi on I-80. The driver lost control of the car in the median after an eastbound semi veered into her lane.

The car was carrying four women who are part of the local Mothers of Preschool program to Kansas City for an international conference of fellowship and training. Last year's local Chair, Kara McCracken, says was devastating accident for the group and the community. McCracken, says it will take a "long time for the reality to sink in and the hurt to heal."

Jennifer Jones was the wife of Eastern Wyoming College Basketball Coach Casey Jones. College President Dr. Tom Armstrong said in a statement “We are missing someone close to home.” He also said “We are doing all we can at this point to support Casey, his family and his team during this incredibly difficult time.”

The college is on Fall Break until Monday but all athletes are on campus for practice.

Last year's local Chair, Kara McCracken, says it will take a "long time for the reality to sink in and the hurt to heal."

Jones was the wife of Eastern Wyoming College Basketball Coach Casey Jones. College President Dr. Tom Jones said in a statement "We are missing someone close to home". He also said "We are doing all we can at this point to support Casey, his family and his team during this incredibly difficult time".

The college is on Fall Break until Monday but all athletes are on campus for practice.

The Hall County Sheriff's Department says a vehicle driven by 26 year old Karisa Bennett of Torrington carrying the women was eastbound on I-80 in the passing lane when a semi also traveling eastbound veered into their lane, forcing Bennett into the median. Bennett lost control and continued into the westbound lanes, where her vehicle was struck by a semi.

A front seat passenger in the Chrysler, 35 year old Sarah Hatch of Torrington and Bennett were taken to St. Francis hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Gurnsey and Jones were both in the back seat.

The Sheriff's department says the driver of the semi was not injured.

The Sheriff's Department is still attempting to locate the driver of the semi that was changing lanes forcing the Chrysler into the median. Based on initial investigation, neither alcohol or speed were believed to be a factor in the accident. The accident occurred just before 7 p.m. Wednesday evening.

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