A Saturday morning rollover north of Scottsbluff has claimed the life of a Box Butte County teen.
Scotts Bluff County Sheriff Mark Overman says at 4:22 a.m.,the Scotts Bluff County Communications Center received a report of a vehicle “parked in a field” west of Highway 71 between Lake Minatare Road and Experiment Farm Road. Another caller reported the vehicle “may have been in a rollover accident.”
The responding Deputy located a severely damaged vehicle on its wheels in a field on the west side of the roadway. The Deputy located a young male later identified as 17-year-old Daniel McDonough of Hemingford on the ground in close proximity to the vehicle. Two males were on scene and stopped to render aid but did not witness the accident. McDonough was alive but had serious head injuries and was also suffering from hypothermia. Valley Ambulance transported him to Regional West Medical Center where he died of his injuries.
Investigation revealed that the vehicle was traveling northbound on Highway 71 between Lake Minatare Road and Experiment Farm Road when the driver lost control due to an unknown cause, causing the vehicle to slide sideways as it crossed the centerline and running off the road to the left where it rolled several times, ejecting the unrestrained driver and sole occupant.
Investigation also revealed that Daniel McDonough had stolen the vehicle from his brother’s girlfriend in Hemingford several hours earlier. Daniel’s brother and his girlfriend were not aware that the vehicle was missing until this incident occurred, and Deputies asked the Alliance Police Department to contact the registered owner.
Daniel’s brother stated that Daniel did not have a driver’s license and did not know how to drive. Daniel was last seen at his brother’s residence at approximately midnight.
Daniel’s brother stated that Daniel may have taken the car without permission to drive to Walmart in Scottsbluff to purchase air-time for his phone. A Sheriff’s Investigator confirmed that store surveillance footage at Walmart showed Daniel McDonough purchase a phone card at 3:08 a.m. on Saturday and the store video then shows him leave the store in the stolen vehicle
No drug or alcohol involvement is suspected in this case and no autopsy is planned.
Other agencies involved include Valley Ambulance, Scottsbluff Rural and City of Scottsbluff Fire Departments, and the Scottsbluff, Gering, Alliance and Hemingford Police Departments.