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Lincoln woman killed in South Dakota crash

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A Lincoln woman was killed in a two-vehicle collision that occurred Nov. 16 south of Brookings, South Dakota.

Kelley Rodriguez, 40, was pronounced dead at the scene after the 2020 Chevy Equinox she was driving stalled on Interstate 29 and was rear-ended by a semi-truck pulling a tanker.

The Chevy was pushed into the east ditch and came to a rest against a sign. The truck and tanker also went into the east ditch, across a service road and came to rest on railroad tracks. 

The driver of the truck, James Vaniperen, 39, of Davis, South Dakota, was transported to a  Brookings hospital with serious but not non-life-threatening injuries. 

Both drivers were wearing seat belts.

South Dakota's Highway Patrol is investigating the collision.

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Six lives lost: Remembering the young Nebraskans killed in Lincoln Oct. 2 car crash

Six Nebraskans, all in their 20s, died last week in what police described as "the worst crash in Lincoln in recent memory." These were their stories.

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"As his sister, this makes me warm. It makes me feel good to see all of them," Akilah Muhs said about all the friends at her brother's funeral.

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"I'm 46 years old," Jonny Koch's aunt said, "and my nephew that was 22 probably has more friends and is loved by more people than I would ever dream of."

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After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in just three years, Ben Lenagh was drawn to education and was in the accelerated teacher preparation program at UNO.

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Bisesi, who lived in Lincoln since 2009, was in his senior year at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, working toward his marketing degree.

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"He was encouraging to everybody and always had a kind word to say. I never remember him saying anything bad about anyone."

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"The first thing I think of when I think of Cassie would be 'eye-catching,'" said Mo Eisenhauer, Brenner's former roommate and one of her best friends. 

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News intern

Evelyn Mejia is a news intern and current sophomore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She covers breaking news and writes feature stories about her community.

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