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Grand Island driver dies in New Year’s Day crash east of Kearney
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Grand Island driver dies in New Year’s Day crash east of Kearney

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KEARNEY — Buffalo County recorded its first fatality of 2022 on New Year’s Day near Keystone Road and Coal Chute Road east of Kearney.

The crash was reported around 9 a.m. Saturday.

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According to the Nebraska State Patrol a BMW sedan left the roadway and rolled multiple times, ejecting the driver. The driver Jake Gillespie, 22, of Grand Island, was located dead at the scene.

No other vehicles were involved.

A preliminary investigation shows that the crash is believed to be speed related and most likely occurred before the inclement weather began, NSP said.

The crash remains under investigation.


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According to court documents, Chase Rayburn, 18, of Kearney was sentenced to prison last week in Buffalo County District Court. In November, Rayburn pleaded no contest to robbery, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony and unlawful possession of a firearm on school property.

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