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Every Saturday this law firm posts the current Iowa State Patrol fatality and injury report list so our out-of-state clients and potential clients have access to the latest word from the Iowa State Patrol. If you have questions about what the investigating officer's report means, or how to interpret it, give Steve Lombardi a call at 515-222-1110 or send him an email at [email protected]. Here are the injury reports as of March 12, 2011.

Link:  http://accidentreports.iowa.gov/index.php

Jasper County, Iowa - Junction of Highways 65, 330 and 117. Fatality of a 69-year-old woman. Okay this will be pretty brief today because I've got a lot to do this weekend. The first accident has a Ford Focus colliding with an F-250 pickup truck and the outcome is anything but predictable. From the report it appears the Focus fails to yield the right of way to the pickup truck and gets hit. It appears that a passenger in the car died as a result. Two people were injured and taken away in an ambulance the other was taken the ME's office. Legal issues will revolve around why the one driver failed to yield the right of way to the other driver and both the passenger in his car and the truck driver will more than likely assert claims against the negligent driver.

Mills County, Iowa - 221 Street, X Abbey, north of Glenwood - Fatality of a 75-year-old man. From the report this appears to be a wrong-way driver driving in the southbound but in the northbound lane of traffic. No explanation is given. The driver was elderly, which may or may not explain his confusion. The semi-truck driver is 28-year-old Marlin Gafford from Mineola, Iowa. The other driver is shown on the report as Robert Swaink from Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Next we head off to Tama County, Iowa to Highway 30 to a location ½ mile east of V18 on March 7, 2011 at 2:10 PM. This is a simple head-on collision caused by one car crossing the center line, for unexplained reasons. Vehicle 1 is Ford F-250 and vehicle 2 is Dodge Caravan. The Caravan is no match for the F-250, that's for sure. So who did what? Well, according to the report vehicle 1, the truck crossed the center line and struck the Caravan head-on. According to the report the Caravan driver, Joseph Starits, 26-years-young, died in the ensuing collision. The report has the truck being driven by a Mr. Dennison, 47, from North Liberty. In all one person is shown to have died and three were injured. (Injured include: Dennison, Liz Ashley Starits, 24, and Baby Starits from Toledo, Iowa. The narrative indicates the accident remains under investigation which usually means Trooper Hughes is awaiting blood and drug alcohol tests. The legal issues in this case could get dicey for the at-fault driver. We have passengers and possible BAC issues that may lead to a punitive damage claim. Hopefully everyone has sufficient insurance coverage.

We move on next to Cedar County, Iowa and to Franklin Avenue north of Highway 30 and the railroad crossing. It is the double fatality of the Mechanicsville couple. This one has my stymied. The causes may never be known or made public.

In the full reports we have two accidents resulting in fatalities. The first is from Ida County on Highway 20. One car loses control, begins to slide, crosses the center line and is struck by what appears to be large truck. The two folks in the Pontiac Bonneville died. It appears alcohol tests were done and it will be weeks before the TI (technical investigation) can be completed. If the at-fault driver had an illegal amount of alcohol in her blood there are a myriad of issues we could discuss, but without knowing there is little reason to start down that path.

Onward we go west to our friends in Woodbury County where a one-vehicle accident kills the driver, the only passenger in the SUV, a 2006 Frontier SE/LE. The police report indicates "6- Under the influence of alcohol/drugs/medications" as "Driver Condition". We don't know if that is a fact or a suspicion of the officer. Blood tests were conducted; the accident occurred on March 6, 2011 at 2:30 a.m. in Woodbury County on Old Highway 141 east of Bear Paw, northeast of Smithland. Driver was only 26-years-old. The description below says it all about what happened; there is nothing to really discuss from a legal perspective. The report indicates speed and alcohol may and probably were contributing factors.

Crash:


Minimal Reports

A crash occurred in Jasper County on March 10, 2011

VEHICLE ONE WAS NORTHBOUND ON HIGHWAY 117 AND ATTEMPTED TO GO NORTHBOUND ON HIGHWAY 65 VEHICLE 1 FAILED TO YIELD TO VEHICLE 2 WHICH WAS SOUTHBOUND ON HIGHWAY 330 ACCIDENT IS UNDER INVESTIGATION.

A crash occurred in Mills County on March 10, 2011

VEHICLE 1 WAS SOUTHBOUND ON 221ST STREET, VEHICLE 2 WAS NORTHBOUND ON 221ST STREET, FOR UNKNOWN REASONS VEHICLE 2 WAS IN THE COMPLETE SOUTHBOUND LANE, VEHICLE 1 THEN STRUCK VEHICLE 2 HEAD ON COMPLETELY BLOCKING THE ROADWAY, NO CHARGES PENDING AT THIS TIME, ACCIDENT INVESTIGATED BY THE IOWA STATE PATROL.

A crash occurred in Tama County on March 7, 2011

VEHICLE ONE WEST BOUND ON HWY 30, VEHICLE TWO EAST BOUND ON HIGHWAY 30, VEHICLE ONE CROSSED THE CENTER LINE AND STRUCK VEHICLE TWO HEAD ON APPROXIMATELY 1/2 MILE EAST OF V18 ON HIGHWAY 30, ACCIDENT IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION AND CHARGES PENDING ON DRIVER OF VEHICLE ONE.

A crash occurred in Cedar County on March 3, 2011

VEHICLE # 1 WAS SOUTHBOUND ON FRANKLIN AVE AND FOR AN UNKNOWN REASON STOPPED ON THE RAILROAD GRADE CROSSING A UNION PACIFIC RAILWAY TRAIN EASTBOUND IMPACTED THE PASSENGER SIDE OF VEHICLE # 1 THIS ACCIDENT REMAINS UNDER INVESTIGATION BY THE IOWA STATE
PATROL


Full Reports

A crash occurred in Ida County on March 7, 2011

VEH 1 WAS WB ON HWY 20. VEH 2 WAS EB ON HWY 20. VEH 1 LOST CONTROL AND BEGAN TO SPIN IN A COUNTERCLOCKWISE DIRECTION INTO THE PATH OF VEH 2. VEH 2 HIT VEH 1 BROADSIDE KILLING BOTH INDIVIDUALS IN VEH 1. INVESTIGATION IN ONGOING BY AN ISP TI.

A crash occurred in Woodbury County on March 6, 2011

VEH #1 WAS WB/NB ON OLD HWY 141 NW OF SMITHLAND. V1 WAS TRAVELLING 60 MPH IN A 50 MPH ZONE. V1 FAILED TO NEGOTIATE A RIGHT HAND CURVE. V1 ENTERED THE NORTH DITCH, HIT AN EMBANKMENT AND ROLLED NUMEROUS TIMES. THE DRIVER WAS EJECTED AND HIS BODY CAME TO REST ON THE HIGHWAY.

Blog for I-35 I-80 I-235 I-380 Collisions/Accidents

Iowa State Patrol Injury Reports for Saturday, January 15, 2011.
Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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