Railfan crash

Two pickup trucks were totaled in a head-on collision Saturday morning on U.S. Highway 30 south of Kennard.

*Updated July 10, 2017, to clarify Richard Schmeling's statements about crash.

Three people were injured in a two-vehicle crash Saturday morning on U.S. Highway 30 after a “railfan” hit a Blair couple head-on while chasing a Union Pacific (UP) steam locomotive passing through the area.

Matthew Love, 19, a Blair native currently residing in Fremont, was driving a gray 2002 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck on U.S. Highway 30, southwest of Kennard, shortly after 10 a.m. when his vehicle struck a red 1994 Ford Ranger pickup truck driven by Timothy Miller, 56, of Blair.

The Silverado landed in the ditch. The Ranger landed on the shoulder of the highway next to a small bridge.

Timothy Miller and Ann Miller, 57, also of Blair, were trapped in the vehicle, but eventually removed without extrication.

Timothy complained of disabling chest pain. Ann reported knee or lower leg pain. Both were transported to Memorial Community Hospital & Health System (MCH&HS) in Blair. Timothy was then flown by LifeNet from MCH&HS to another hospital.

Love was taken to MCH&HS after complaining of neck pain.

Railfan crash

Deputy Cody Peters of the Washington County Sheriff's Office documents the scene of a crash Saturday morning on U.S. Highway 30 south of Kennard. Pictured is a pickup truck driven by Matthew Love, Fremont, during the crash.

Chief Deputy Kevin Willis of the Washington County Sheriff's Office said that Love was westbound on U.S. Highway 30 and started passing vehicles. He passed one, then attempted to pass a second when he hit the eastbound Ranger.

Love was cited for no insurance, driving too fast for conditions and driving left of center.

Blair resident Allan Love Jr., brother of Matthew Love, told the Enterprise at the scene that his brother is a “railfan” — a train enthusiast — who was part of a caravan of several vehicles “chasing” the UP train traveling from Omaha to North Platte.

Willis confirmed that Matthew Love told law enforcement he was following the steam train.

Lincoln resident Richard Schmeling, a “railfan” who arrived about a minute after the crash, said at the scene that enthusiasts will often keep pace in multiple vehicles to follow a train, with a vehicle at the front video-recording the train while the vehicle is in motion.

Arlington, Kennard and Blair fire and rescue departments responded to the call.

Railfan crash

Blair resident Allan Love Jr., far left, and an Arlington volunteer firefighter carry a camera tripod and other equipment from the pickup truck of Matthew Love, Allan's brother, following a crash Saturday on U.S. Highway 30.

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