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Semi leaves Highway 281, crashes into house

Semi leaves Highway 281, crashes into house


Highway 281 was closed for several hours Friday night after a semi-truck left the highway and crashed into a house at Rainwater Kennels at 3530 Old Highway 30.

The truck, driven by a man from Glenwood, Iowa, drove through a guardrail, down a sharp embankment and into the southeast corner of the house. No one was home at the time, and no one was injured. The accident occurred at about 9:30 p.m., said Lt. Dean Kottwitz of the Grand Island Police Department.

Larry and Helen Heil, who own Rainwater Kennels, have lived in the house since 1993. They received a call about the accident while they were driving home from a Nebraska volleyball match in Lincoln.

The semi was driven by Charles Gunderson, 53, who was southbound on Highway 281.

He told police “that he was cut off by other traffic, which caused him to veer to the right, and then he drove in snow and slush, which pulled him further to the right and off the roadway,” Kottwitz said.

The collision left the corner of the house bowed. Repairing the damage might cost $30,000 to $50,000, Larry Heil said.

Heil patched the hole with a piece of plywood. A large tree was uprooted in the crash.

Removing the semi took several hours, he said. Tow truck operators had problems because the ground was muddy, which caused the trailer to slide.

The house was still cold late Saturday afternoon, because gas service had not been restored.

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