"High flying fun" gives way to deep disappointment, as a truck carrying parts of the new Nebraska State Fair Sky Tram crashed and burned in a fiery wreck on the interstate.
Hamilton County Sheriff Kirk Handrup said a tractor-trailer carrying the Sky Tram ride was struck by another semi early Monday morning on the interstate, on the Hamilton/York County line.
The trailers on both trucks were engulfed in flames. The driver of the second vehicle was injured in the crash and hospitalized in Aurora. Handrup described the contents of the first truck as "ski lift chairs", which were to have become part of the Sky Tram ride.
The ride was the big ticket addition to a fair that was already soaring strong on two huge years at its new Grand Island home.
State Fair Board President Jana Kruger recently told NTV, "They guarantee us it's going to be flying."
"Really looking forward to that," Board Member Tam Allen told NTV last week.
So word part of the attraction was destroyed in a fiery interstate collision hits hard.
Executive Director Joseph McDermott said, "It's a disappointment, no doubt about that. Theme for this year is high flying fun."
Construction continues at the site, where overseers asked we not shoot video, due to their frustration.
The Nebraska State Fair's financial stake is in the footings, foundation, and power which are taken care of.
Amusement company Wade Shows was bringing the cables and cars for the ride, something they still hope to do.
McDermott said, "There are only a few of these sky rides on fairgrounds across the country. We're excited to have it. I think they'll get it up and running. It may not be by opening day, but I do believe they'll get it up and running some time during this year's fair."
The truck in the crash was one of three, but they are not sure what parts they are missing. As they search for the equipment needed to complete the ride, officials say they won't cut corners.
"When it comes to the Sky Tram and safety of the ride, there will be no shortcuts," McDermott said.
In the event the ride is not complete, fair officials say the $3 ride was not considered a big money maker and they say there are still lots of other new attractions, but certainly this is a big blow.