• April 29, 2022

Larry Helm Injured in Truck Accident on NE-63 in Cass County

Cass County, NE -- April 27, 2022, 50-year-old Larry Helm was injured in a crash between commercial semi-trucks on State Highway 63 in Cass County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 3:00 p.m.. along northbound Highway 63. Preliminary investigation suggests a 29-year-old Roca man was driving a Peterbilt semi-truck with a trailer north when Helm allegedly approached from the other direction in a Freightliner 18-wheeler. Helm reportedly traveled left of center and crashed into the Peterbilt's trailer, then ran into the road's east bar ditch.

Helm suffered unspecified injuries in the crash and was taken to an area hospital. When asked about what happened he couldn't specifically remember but said the Peterbilt drove into his lane. Police reportedly found tracks and skid marks suggesting Helm was the one to cross over the center line.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Truck Accident on NE-63 in Cass County

As straightforward as reports about this wreck may seem, it's important to take them with a grain of salt. Early news releases rarely tell the whole story. Even with a collision like this one there could be extenuating circumstances to consider.

Larry Helm Injured in Truck Accident on NE-63 in Cass County

For example, there's a big difference between a truck driver crossing left of center while watching a movie on his phone versus the truck blowing a tire and swerving, yet the scene created by both those might look the same at a glance. Other times there may be complexities above and beyond just figuring out the details at the immediate crash scene. I handled a case not long ago where a truck caused a major crash because he was flat-out exhausted and fell asleep. If the story stopped there people would probably assume the driver just made bad choices, but we learned after more investigation that his employer required drivers to keep illegally-long hours and cut corners on safety to make unreasonable deadlines. They risked termination if they didn't play along, and many drivers faced with a choice of ethics versus providing for their families bit the bullet and did what they had to. It was almost inevitable that something would go wrong.

That's my point about making sure maximum effort is put into finding out what happened here. Even if police are absolutely certain about what happened in the crash, learning exactly why is still crucial. In the meantime trying to fill in the blanks from the sidelines isn't going to do any good. The facts should be the only things telling the story; will enough of those be found by police to truly understand the wreck?


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