Four men killed Friday in an icy road crash near Waterloo have been identified by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Deputy Marty Bilek said the men lived in Fremont. He said the men, from Guatemala, were on their way to work at Nebraska Beef in Omaha in a 1998 Honda Civic when the driver, Pedro Soc Ortiz, 20, lost control near Highway 275 and West Maple Road about 5 a.m. and crashed into a 2002 Ford pickup.

The passengers were identified as Mario Alvarez Simaj, 29, Manuel Leon Lopez, 35, and Gabriel Ralias Juarez, 19. The pickup’s driver was taken to an Omaha hospital in fair condition.

Bilek said all four men came to Nebraska to work and send money home. All four were working under assumed names. Deputies learned their identities by talking with the owner of the car. She said the men were members of her Fremont church.

An official at Pinnacle Bank said a fund has been established by the church, Ministerio Yo Soy La Puerta, to help raise money to send the men’s bodies home to Guatemala. Donations can be made at any bank location.

Contact the writer:

402-444-1272, kevin.cole@owh.com

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