ALLIANCE, Neb. (AP) – The Nebraska State Patrol says a head-on collision about 6:00 Monday evening just northwest of Alliance claimed the life of one man and sent another to the hospital.
Pronounced dead at the scene was 68-year old Bruce Engel while 21-year old Levi Clouse, both of Hemingford, was taken to Box Butte General Hospital in Alliance, then transferred to Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff. Clouse was reported to be in critical condition late Tuesday morning.
The Nebraska State Patrol says Engel was northbound on Highway 385 when his car crossed the centerline and collided with a southbound pickup driven by Clouse. The highway was closed for about 5 hours due to the accident.
The Patrol says neither Engel or Clouse was wearing a seat belt, but has not released a finding on why the car crossed the centerline.
Engel farmed just north of Hemingford for more than 3 decades after having been a teacher, coach, and principal following his graduation from Chadron State College. In the early 1990s, he was the color analyst on Chadron State College men’s basketball broadcasts for 5 years .
Engel was the victim of an embezzlement scheme from 2003-2005 in which New Alliance Bean and Grain customer representative Mark Robertson stole over $154,000 from the company through fraudulent bean sales on Engel’s account. Robertson was sentenced to 10-20 years in prison for the theft.
Engel and his wife Donna celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year, culminating in a community party in late December.