By Lynell Morgan
Two Antelope County drivers are in stable condition Friday following a two-vehicle accident at a rural intersection near Elgin.
According to Antelope County Sheriff Bob Moore, passersby Ray and Peggy Payne of rural Elgin were traveling on Highway 14 Thursday evening near the cemeteries when something to the left caught Ray’s attention. Turning west onto 841 Road, they quickly came upon the recent accident at the intersection of 841 Road and 520 Avenue. Payne called 911 at 6:09 p.m. Elgin Fire and Rescue responded to the call and Antelope Memorial Hospital dispatched an ambulance to the scene.
Eric Iler, 48, of rural Elgin and Cody L. Hoefer, 39, of Neligh were the owners and drivers of the two vehicles. Iler was driving a 2005 Town & Country van and was westbound on 841 Road. Hoefer was driving a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe and was southbound on 520 Avenue. The intersection has one stop sign, located on the south side and it did not play a role in the accident, the sheriff said.
There are no obstructions near the intersection and, according to Sheriff Moore, indications at the scene are that neither driver braked and the vehicles collided at full speed.
Moore said the impact caused the Iler vehicle to roll one time before landing on its wheels in the southwest ditch of the intersection. The Hoefer vehicle was sent into the south ditch, west of the intersection. Both vehicles were totaled in the accident.
Elgin Rescue transported Iler to Faith Regional Health Services (FRHS) in Norfolk. He was later life-flighted to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. He is currently in stable condition. His mother-in-law, Beverly Becker, posted on the Elgin Review facebook page’s report of the accident that “He has two fractured vertebra, broken ribs, bruised lung and broken tail bone.”
Hoefer was transported by the AMH ambulance to FRHS. At this time, he is in stable condition.
According to Moore, due to the extensive damage to the vehicles they are unable to confirm whether either was wearing a seatbelt. He said they hope to be able to gather further information from each vehicle’s computer system.