Authorities release names of 3 killed in Saline County

WESTERN – Authorities have released the names of three people fatally injured when two pickup trucks collided on a state highway in southeast Nebraska.

The collision occurred Mar. 17 on Nebraska Highway 15 about five miles north of Western. The Saline County Sheriff’s Office says a northbound pickup was pulling a trailer when it collided with a southbound pickup.

State officials say 74-year-old Fred Kujath of Fairbury was killed that day in one of the pickups and 18-year-old Garrett Klipp of Tobias died in the other pickup. 16-year-old Peyton VanWesten of Tobias died a week later.

Klipp was a senior at Meridian High School, while VanWesten was a junior. Both were active in sports, playing football and basketball.

Klipp had planned to attend Northeast Community College to study precision agriculture.

Kujath had been going to get hay for his cattle at the time of the crash, according to his obituary.

Funerals for he and Klipp were both held on Monday – Klipp’s at the school and Kujath’s in Fairbury.

VanWesten donated his organs. His funeral service will be held Monday at Meridian High School.

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