Four people were injured Wednesday in northwest Omaha in a four-vehicle crash that appears to have been caused by a driver who ran a red light, authorities said. Shortly before the crash, the car was involved in a police pursuit in Washington County.
Omaha police said the crash occurred about 1:10 p.m. at North 147th Street and West Maple Road.
Deputies from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office were in the area, police said, and spotted a 2003 Saturn SL1 being driven recklessly.
Police said their investigation found that the Saturn, driven by Terry Goeser, 54, of Columbus, Nebraska, was eastbound on West Maple Road approaching 147th Street when Goeser drove through a red light at 147th Street. Goeser’s car collided with a 2000 Toyota Avalon driven by Douglas Larson, 56, of Omaha that was turning left onto West Maple Road from northbound 147th Street with a green light.
Police said the force of the crash led the Saturn to hit two other vehicles — a 2005 International 4300 series work truck driven by Eric Vanscoy, 31, of Council Bluffs and a 2011 Ford Ranger pickup driven by Arlynn Close, 63, of Omaha — that were waiting to turn left onto 147th Street from westbound West Maple.
The crash remains under investigation. Police said Goeser was intoxicated and driving recklessly.
The four injured people were taken to three Omaha hospitals.
Authorities said Goeser was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center with a back fracture; Larson was taken to Immanuel Medical Center with neck pain and later released; William Schoenfeld, 65, of Omaha, who was a passenger in the Toyota, also was taken to Immanuel, with hip pain, and later was released; and Vanscoy was taken to Methodist Hospital with neck pain and released. Close was not injured, police said.
Traffic on eastbound West Maple was tied up for at least 2½ hours while authorities investigated the crash. In addition to several Omaha police officers and Douglas County deputies, Nebraska State Patrol troopers also worked the crash scene.
The crash followed a pursuit in Washington County about 40 minutes earlier.
Capt. Kevin Willis of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said the Saturn was reported driving erratically on U.S. Highway 30 near Arlington around 12:30 p.m. Sgt. Kraig Nelson spotted the car in Arlington, Willis said, and Goeser struck a truck and Nelson’s cruiser while fleeing from Nelson. The deputy pursued Goeser west on Highway 30 before breaking off the pursuit when the Saturn nearly collided with a dump truck.
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