An Arlington farmer injured in an accident nearly five years ago after an Omaha couple driving separate vehicles struck a combine has filed a lawsuit against the couple and their business in Washington County District Court.
According to court documents, Danny L. Mohr was operating a 1980 John Deere 6620 Combine southbound on state Highway 133 at approximately 7:40 p.m. Oct. 11, 2015, near Blair when the combine was struck from behind by a pickup truck, driven by Dan D. Jacobson.
The combine's ladder was ripped off and jammed into the truck's passenger-side window.
Shortly after, a Cadillac Escalade driven by Dan's wife, Debra Jacobson, hit the combine and a combine tire that had rolled onto the highway.
Mohr was transported to CHI Health Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha with injuries, including possible neck and rib injuries and lacerations on his arms and legs when the combine was turned onto its driver's side.
According to the lawsuit, Mohr “sustained physical injury, severe pain, mental and physical anguish, discomfort and disability, some of which are permanent in nature. The lawsuit also claims Mohr has incurred medical expenses and “will likely continue to incur such expenses into the future.”
The lawsuit, which also names Jacobson's business Universal Trucks, LLC as a co-defendant, alleges the accident was caused by the couple, who failed to keep their vehicles under control, were not operating at a safe and reasonable speed, failed to keep proper lookout and were following too closely.
At the accident scene, the couple told the Pilot-Tribune they didn't see the combine.
“There was not one light,” Debra said at the time.
Dan was arrested and transported to the Washington County Jail for driving under revocation. He later pleaded guilty to an amended charge of driving under suspension, a Class 3 misdemeanor, and paid a $100 fine.
The couple told the Pilot-Tribune that they were headed from Tekamah to Omaha. Both of their vehicles, which were owned by Universal Trucks, were totaled, and they both were wearing seat belts.
The combine had one faded triangle slow-moving emblem and one yellow light on the back, according to a deputy on the scene.
According to Nebraska Statute 60-6,235, a combine operating on a highway after sunset must have an amber clearance light on the front, and another red clearance light in the rear, both visible from 300 feet in normal atmospheric conditions. The light in the back should not be located where it could be confused for a taillight. The lights must be located on a line with the extreme outer point of the vehicle or the load on the vehicle.
"Suitable reflectors of like color and equal visibility may be substituted for such clearance lights," the statute states. "Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. "
Mohr was cited for no clearance lights. He later pleaded no contest and was found guilty. He paid a $10 fine.