SUV vs. Semi Accident Critically Injures Teen Driver on Hwy 275 Near Pilger

At about 20 minutes after midnight on Thursday morning the Stanton County Sheriff’s office responded to and investigated a SUV versus Semi and Trailer accident about 3/4 mile west of Pilger on U.S. Hwy 275. The 18 year old driver of the SUV was trapped in the wreckage for more than an hour as first responders worked to free him using multiple “Jaws of Life”. When freed the teen driver was flown directly from the scene by medical helicopter to UNMC in Omaha with critical injuries. The driver of the semi and trailer was treated at the scene and declined medical transport. Both vehicles are total losses and seatbelts did not appear to have been in use in the SUV, however airbags did deploy. The accident occurred when the east bound SUV crossed the center line and collided with the westbound semi nearly head-on. The SUV then spun to a stop in the south ditch and the semi and trailer ended up jack-knifing in the north ditch after striking an energized power pole and the pole snapped causing a total blackout of the Village of Pilger and power loss to the rural area around the the accident scene. Power was restored by Stanton County Public Power after about 60 minutes. Highway 275 was blocked and closed for more than three and a half hours as the scene was investigated and cleared. Pilger Fire and Rescue was assisted at the scene by the Stanton and Wisner Fire Departments. Stanton County Emergency Management also assisted at the scene.

**UPDATED @ 3:23 p.m. on May 23rd**

The driver of the SUV (Subaru Outback) Alex Scheffler of Woodland Park remains in critical condition at UNMC in Omaha after undergoing multiple surgeries today. Alex graduated last Sunday from Norfolk High School “Class of 2024”. The driver of the semi was Ryan Strong, 50, of David City. The accident remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s office.

Remnants of Destroyed SUV After Driver Was Extricated Using The “Jaws of Life”
Semi-Tractor Ended Up in North Ditch After Striking an Energized Power Pole