Man Airlifted to Hospital With Serious Burns, East of Beatrice

BEATRICE – Rescue personnel and law officers were dispatched to a location three miles east of Beatrice Tuesday night, to a report of a man on fire.

The call initially reporting a potentially suicidal male came in at 6:20 p.m., sending Gage County Sheriff’s Officers, Beatrice Fire and Rescue and Beatrice Rural Fire to an area just south of East Hoyt Road and South 36th Road.

A sport utility vehicle was reported to be engulfed in fire, and the male occupant of the vehicle was also on fire.   Gage County Sheriff’s Sergeant Jason Sharp says the man apparently started the fire.

:21                  “the fire, himself”

Sharp says there was a witness report to the incident.

Emergency radio traffic indicated a white Ford Expedition was southbound when the fire began, and then stopped in the roadway.  The vehicle was engulfed in flames when authorities approached the scene…and the man was reported to be severely burned, laying on the ground nearby.

:12                  “outside the vehicle”

The fire was extinguished just after 6:30 p.m.  The man was found on the side of the road opposite of the vehicle.  Authorities summoned a medical helicopter from Lincoln, which arrived on scene about twenty minutes after the initial call. 

SFX..Copter Traffic  :14   “the fire scene”

An unconfirmed report indicated the man suffered third-degree burns over much of his body.  His identity has not been released.   His age and hometown were not available.

Law officers blocked off a section of South 36th Road as they investigated and medical personnel were on the scene.   The medical helicopter landed in a field just east of the vehicle fire, taking the man to St. Elizabeth’s Burn Unit in Lincoln.

The injured man’s condition is not immediately known.

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