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Driver of semitrailer dies in northeast Nebraska after vehicle crashes into fertilizer truck

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PIERCE, Nebraska — The driver of a semitrailer has been killed in northeast Nebraska after his vehicle crashed into a fertilizer truck.

The Nebraska State Patrol says 39-year-old Charles L. Smith, of Columbus, was driving a tank car Tuesday afternoon on Highway 81 in Pierce County when he struck a fertilizer truck that was making a left turn in front of his vehicle.

The semitrailer burst into flames, and crews worked for nearly an hour to extinguish the fire.

Smith was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the fertilizer truck, 22-year-old Brycen Hockemeier, of Tilden, was taken to a hospital.

Authorities say the crash remains under investigation.

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