Curry family

Michael (from left), Rachel and Chloe Curry. Rachel and Chloe were killed in a hit-and-run accident in Otoe County on Sunday.

A 32-year-old woman and her high school-age stepdaughter died in a hit-and-run crash Sunday evening west of Nebraska City.

Auburn residents Rachel Curry, 15-year-old Chloe Curry and Michael Curry, 39, were heading south in a Chevy pickup on U.S. 75 near H Road at 7:20 p.m. when their pickup collided with a northbound Buick Rainier, Otoe County Attorney David Partsch said in a release Monday.

Rachel Curry died at the scene.

Chloe Curry and her father were taken to CHI St. Mary's in Nebraska City, where Chloe Curry died just before 9 p.m., Partsch said.

Michael Curry, who was driving, survived the crash, the release said.

The Rainier was totaled, but the driver wasn't at the scene when rescue workers arrived. Otoe County sheriff's deputies searched the area with a police dog, and a Nebraska State Patrol helicopter circled above, to no avail.

Late Sunday night, law enforcement officers found the suspected driver, Rickie E. Anthony, 54, in Falls City, 57 miles south of the crash site, Partsch said. He had received a ride from someone else.

Anthony, a resident of Douglas County, received medical treatment and was taken to the Otoe County jail. He's expected to face charges of two counts of motor vehicle homicide with reckless or willful reckless driving and leaving the scene of a fatality crash.

Authorities believe the northbound SUV driven by Anthony crossed the center line and the southbound lane and was driving on the southbound shoulder of the two-lane highway when Curry took evasive action.

The southbound pickup tried to move into the northbound lane but was hit by the SUV as Anthony corrected and swerved back into the traffic lane, according to investigators.

Partsch said the SUV was registered to Armbruster Chevrolet, a car dealer in Falls City, and had been loaned to a female acquaintance of Anthony's.

The woman told investigators that Anthony was driving the SUV from Falls City to Omaha on Sunday evening to visit family, Partsch said.

Test results on blood taken from Anthony late Sunday are not available, and the involvement of alcohol in the crash remains under investigation, Partsch said.

Investigators continue to seek the person who drove Anthony to Falls City, he added.

Rachel Curry worked as a veterinary assistant at Town and Country Veterinary Clinic in Auburn. Town and Country's locations in Auburn and Tecumseh were closed Monday, according to a post on its Facebook page.

"We are sorry for the inconvenience," the post said. "But the staff is grieving the loss of our friend and co-worker. Rest in Peace Rachel!"

Chloe Curry was a student at Johnson County Central High School in Tecumseh.

"(She) would have turned 16 years old this Wednesday," Partsch said in the release. 

The school has made grief counselors available for students, the county attorney said. 

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.



Riley Johnson reports on local government in Lincoln.

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