A one-vehicle accident south of Whiteclay that sent multiple people to the hospital may validate concerns of some in the area after four beer stores in the tiny town were shut down.
According to the Sheridan County Attorney’s Office, the accident took place Thursday about halfway between Whiteclay and Rushville. Everyone in the car, including the driver, was taken to the Pine Ridge Hospital in South Dakota, but the driver was later transferred to a hospital in Rapid City, South Dakota. Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the accident, a press release from the County Attorney’s Office said.
Until last weekend, Whiteclay was home to four liquor stores that sold the equivalent of 3.5 million cans of beer each year, almost all to residents of the officially dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, just across the state line in South Dakota.
The stores were closed by the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission after years of complaints about rampant alcoholism among the reservation’s residents. After another ruling and then an appeal, the stores’ fate is in the hands of the Nebraska Supreme Court.
Owners of the stores said closing them would just mean their customers would head south to Rushville, the next-closest place with liquor stores.
(Courtesy of Omaha World-Herald)