Authorities now believe it was a medical condition that struck a Council Bluffs man who died on Tuesday morning after wrecking his Jeep in Omaha. Omaha Police Sergeant Joe Collins says 60-year-old Stephen Gerharter evidently tried to steer the vehicle off the road.
“He took whatever steps he could prior to him losing consciousness to safely get the vehicle out of the traffic,” Sergeant Collins says. The Jeep was found, wrecked on Interstate 80 near the 60th Street exit. Collins says it appears Gerharter knew he was suffering from some sort of medical problem and he slowed down to exit the interstate.
“Speed is definitely not a factor,” he says. “He wasn’t even traveling at 25 or 35 miles an hour as he came off the interstate.” The vehicle ended up on a green space between the 60th Street off-ramp and I-80.
He says, “It’s my opinion he was attempting to pull over at which time he probably lost consciousness and veered the rest of the way off the road.” Gerharter’s Jeep then caught fire. Witnesses rushed to pull him from the vehicle. When Omaha Fire and Rescue arrived, he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
By Karla James