CUSTER COUNTY — A man who became trapped in a sinkhole under his vehicle Tuesday evening was found Wednesday and airlifted to Kearney.
A relative of a man driving a red Chevy S10 Blazer contacted the Custer County Sheriff's Office about 10:20 a.m. Wednesday to report him missing, Deputy Barrett Gibbons said. The man last was seen driving north of Cozad around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
After searching the area, Gibbons located the Blazer in a cornfield near the intersection of Roads 417 and 774 around 1 p.m. The vehicle had fallen into a sinkhole and was suspended above a further 10-foot drop underneath.
Gibbons said the driver tried to get out of the Blazer but fell underneath it and was trapped in the sinkhole the entire night.
Cozad Fire and Rescue was contacted after 1:10 p.m. about the man in the sinkhole. Assistant Fire Chief Gary Banzhaf said a crew member contacted a medical helicopter from Good Samaritan Hospital to meet rescuers at the sinkhole. The Cozad crew arrived about 1:40 p.m. with 11 people, an ambulance and a utility rig, said Rescue Chief Brian Woldt.
Rescuers climbed down a ladder to get down to the driver, then put him in a harness and pulled him up. Banzhaf said the man was dehydrated and given oxygen.
The driver then was loaded onto the medical helicopter just after 2:35 p.m. and taken to Kearney for further treatment.