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Steve Lombardi, Attorney

There are just three crash reports from the iowa State Patrol this Saturday, January 08, 2011. One from Boone County and others from Marshall and Palo Alto Counties.

The one from Boone is a three vehicle collision involving a 52-year-old man, Kevin Powell who crossed the center line for what the police describe as "unknown reason" and hit the oncoming KIA head-on. His Jeep apparently continued on and struck a third car, a Ford Explorer. In the KIA was a 49-year-old woman Ramona Prather from Nevada and in the Expedition is 35-year-old Kimberly Cunningham from Boone. Powell died in the accident that occurred at 12:30 on January 7, 2011. One has to wonder what caused the driver to cross the center line. Was it a distraction? Looking at the cell phone records may answer that question. Cunningham was airlifted to Mercy in Des Moines.

The next fatality accident is from Marshall County and from what the officer's report states in the narrative it appears he believed that both drivers were at fault for driving in the middle of the road as they crested a hill. That stopped each driver from seeing one another and hitting head-on. The preliminary report has a 10-year-old boy, a passenger being killed. One of the cars is a KIA Sedona and the other a 1999 Chevy Cavalier. Neither car is large. So we have 34 and a 33 year olds driving and passengers that are 10 and 57 riding along. All must have been pretty seriously injured. It appears the ten year old died.  The accident happened on December 26, 2010 at 15:14 hours at 180th Street East of Knapp Avenue in Marshall County on a gravel road. Involved were Mitchell Storjohann, Shane Ersland, Ann Marie Ersland and young Mr. Sinder. It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyways. When approaching the crest of a hill pay attention and get as far to the right as you are able to safely get. You never know who or what is coming from the opposite direction. I think there is a natural tendency to try and straddle the crown of the road, but at the crest of the hill that is dangerous. It's also worth saying the passengers bare no fault or responsibility and their claims are intact.

The last report we have is a full and final ISP report from Trooper Drost. Let us start with the basics. This collision occurs on December 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm in Palo Alto County at .6 miles south of B55 on Avenue 540th. We have two cars hitting head-on; another head-on, under the fatality section is never going to turn out good. We have only two people involved; the one is a mailman, that's Lichter (61) and the other, Mark Besch is driving a Silverado Chevy pickup truck in the opposite direction.  The mailman died.

So what will happen from a legal standpoint? Well Besch (45) will have a claim against both Besch and the U.S. Government or the U.S. Postal Service and poor Mr. Lichter's dependents will have a federal workers' compensation claim and perhaps a claim for widow's benefits or dependency benefits under the Social Security Act.

Now how could this accident have been avoided? Once again like the one in rural Marshall County the drivers need to pay attention to their driving, slow down and when coming to the crest of a hill, get over to the right.

That's all the accident reports we have today and I'm glad to say there aren't more. I will say this though; it seems the reports are slow to post lately and it makes me wonder if perhaps the troopers are a bit overwhelmed with getting their paperwork completed. With the weather we've been having it wouldn't surprise me.

Crash:


Minimal Reports

A crash occurred in Boone County on January 7, 2011

UNIT 1 WAS EB ON MAMMIE EISENHAUER AND FOR UNKNOWN REASON LOST CONTROL CROSSED CENTER LINE AND MADE CONTACT WITH UNIT 2 AND THEN HIT UNIT 3 HEAD ON DRIVER OF UNIT WAS WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD
ON SCENE

A crash occurred in Marshall County on December 26, 2010

UNIT 1 WAS WESTBOUND ON 180TH ST A GRAVEL ROAD UNIT 2 WAS EASTBOUND ON 180TH ST BOTH WERE TRAVELLING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADWAY AS THEY TOPPED THE HILL THEY COLLIDED HEADON

Full Reports

A crash occurred in Palo Alto County on December 27, 2010

AT APPROXIMATELY 1253 HRS ON 12-27-10 THOMAS JOSEPH LICHTER OF BURT, IA WAS DRIVING A 1991 BUICK REGAL NORTH BOUND ON 540TH AVE, A GRAVEL ROAD, APPROXIMATELY .6 MILES SOUTH OF COUNTY ROAD B55 IN PALO ALTO CO. LICHTER WAS DELIVERING MAIL AND WAS DRIVING FROM THE PASSENGER SIDE OF THE VEHICLE. AT THAT SAME TIME, MARK ROBERT BESCH OF RODMAN, IA. WAS SOUTH BOUND ON 540TH AVE, DRIVING A 2003 CHEVY SILVERALDO PICKUP. THE VEHICLES MET AT A HILL CREST AND COLLIDED IN A NEAR HEAD-ON MANNER. RICHTER WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE. BESCH WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE PALO ALTO CO. HOSPITAL. THERE WERE NO OTHER PASSENGERS IN THE VEHICLES. THE COLLISION IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION BY THE IOWA STATE PATROL WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE PALO ALTO CO. SHERIFF DEPARTMENT. ALSO ASSISTING AT THE SCENE WAS EMMETSBURG AMBULANCE, WEST BEND AMBULANCE, AND THE RODMAN FIRE DEPARTMENT.

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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