Weld Sheriff’s family involved in serious crash in Nebraska | MyWindsorNow.com

Weld Sheriff’s family involved in serious crash in Nebraska

Sharon Dunn
sdunn@greeleytribune.com

Deputies and staff pass Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams for a photo as he stands in front of his office at the Weld County Sheriff's office, 1950 O St., in Greeley. Reams' family was involved in a crash in Nebraska over the weekend.

Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams' mother and three sisters were involved in a traffic crash over the weekend that has put all four in serious condition in area hospitals.

Reams' family live in Nebraska. They were driving from Scottsbluff, Neb., when the vehicle they were in was T-boned by a truck hauling cattle.

That was chilling news for Reams, not only for the gravity of his family being in a crash, but knowing what he knew about crashes involving semis.

"I don't know how many traffic accidents I've responded to in my career, and when I hear one between semi and a car, as a cop you think, 'This is likely fatal,'" Reams said Wednesday from Children's Hospital in Denver, where his youngest sister was taken after the crash. "From when I got that phone call, though, they didn't have details, that's where your mind and heart goes, so it was long road to Scottsbluff."

Ream's 17-year-old sister, Kalee Young, was driving the 1995 Ford Explorer. Reams' mother, Judy Young, was in the passenger seat, and her two other daughters, Shiann Young, 13, and Ashlyn Young, 16, were in the back seat.

According to the Scottsbluff StarHerald, the crash occurred about 4 p.m. Sunday at the intersection between highways 26, 92 and 71, just east of Scottsbluff.

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The Nebraska State Patrol told the StarHerald that, Kalee, of Mitchell, Neb., had been driving north on Highway 71 when she allegedly failed to yield to an eastbound semi traveling on Highway 26. The semi, driven by Travis Crouch, 51, of Kansas, struck the SUV on the left side.

Reams drove through that intersection on his way to the Scottsbluff hospital.

"Just from my own rudimentary investigation of the accident scene as we drove through it, it doesn't look as if he was able to hit the brakes much before the impact," Reams said. "She pulled right out in front of the semi. She's a young driver, and that's one of those things that happens, I guess."

The family was taken to Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff with serious injuries. His mother is in the most severe condition, Reams' said, as she suffered skull fractures and brain swelling, as well as a broken collarbone and some broken ribs.

Kalee suffered a broken pelvis, multiple fractures, two punctured lungs, multiple broken ribs. She tore her diaphragm muscle, which displaced her stomach up to her lung, and she also has a badly broken left arm.

Shiann, also suffered a fractured pelvis and some head trauma. Ashlynn received only minor injuries.

All were belted in, something Reams said saved their lives.

"They're all very lucky they were wearing seat belts. You can see the effects of the seat belts on all of them, some of the broken ribs are attributed to seat belts, but they also saved all of their lives," Reams said.

Reams has taken the week to help his family, and expects to return to work next week. He said his family is heavily involved in their church and have a lot of local help.

Reams extended a thank you to the first-responders on the scene, as well as the doctors and nurses caring for his family.

"You always appreciate the work they're doing on the people most in need, but when it's your own family, it really has an effect."

To help

Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams’ family was in a devastating car crash on Sunday. His family has started a GoFundMe account to raise money for their medical expenses.