Full Reports 1. A crash occurred in Mills County on July 16, 2011 UNIT 1 WAS NB ON I-29 AT THE 32.8MM. THIS LOCATION WAS HEAD-TO-HEAD TRAFFIC IN THE SB LANES OF I-29 FOR ROAD CONSTRUCTION. THERE WERE NUMEROUS TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES AND SIGNS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION AT THIS LOCATION. UNIT 2 WAS TRAVELING NB ON THE ENTRANCE RAMP TO I-29 NB. UNIT 2 STOPPED AT THE TOP OF THE ENTRANCE RAMP. UNIT 2 ATTEMPTED TO COMPLETE A U-TURN ACROSS BOTH LANES OF TRAFFIC IN ORDER TO USE THE SB EXIT RAMP. UNIT 1 STRUCK UNIT 2 ON THE DRIVER'S SIDE. BOTH UNITS CROSSED THE SB LANE AND CAME TO REST ON THE WEST SHOULDER AND IN THE WEST DITCH. THE DRIVER OF UNIT 1 STATED THAT HE HAD NO INJURIES. BOTH UNITS WERE TOWED BY ARROW TOWING. I've reviewed the report and frankly I'm not sure how to write this one up and probably can't draw any conclusions about fault or negligence based on the description of this being a construction zone. Unit 2 is a Ford F-150 pickup truck being driven by a 60-year-old George Mills. For some reason he was attempting a u-turn in the middle of a construction zone; and while generally that's not such a good idea the way the trooper describes the accident I can't tell if to use the exit ramp he was required to make the u-turn. The first vehicle is a Mack truck, a semi-truck, driven by Ernest Stenger from New Pairs, Ohio and driving for E.W. Wylie Corporation out of West Fargo, North Dakota. The report describes two people as being injured or killed. They are Michael Eppenbach and Jeffrey Eppenbach. Michael is 60 and Jeffrey 36. Mr. Michael Eppenbach was the person described as fatally injured. Factually I have to wonder why anyone would pull a yuee without looking to see the semi-truck barreling down on them. This accident happened on July 16, 2011 at 12:15 pm on NB/EB Interstate 29 in Mills County. 2. A crash occurred in Palo Alto County on July 14, 2011 AT APPROXIMATELY 8:50 AM ON 7-14-11, VEHICLE #1 WAS EASTBOUND ON HWY 18 APPROXIMATELY 1.25 MILES EAST OF CYLINDER. AT THAT TIME, VEHICLE #2 WAS WESTBOUND IN THE WESTBOUND LANE OF HWY 18 TRAVELING TOWARD VEHICLE #1. AS THEY MET, EASTBOUND VEHICLE #1 SWERVED INTO WESTBOUND LANE IN FRONT OF THE PATH OF VEHICLE #2. VEHICLE #1 AND VEHICLE #2 COLLIDED HEAD-ON. ASSISTED BY, PALO ALTO CO. SHERIFF EMMETSBURG P.D. CYLINDER FIRE DEPART. EMMETSBURG FIRE AND RESCUE EMMETSBURG AMB. WHITTEMORE AMB. This accident is described as a two-vehicle head-on collision on Highway 18. It occurs at 8:50 a.m. in Palo Alto County 1.25 miles east of a town named Cylinder in northwest Iowa, population 110. At the 2000 census there were just 45 households and 31 families residing in Cylinder. Palo Alto County has just 9,421 people living there in 2010. Since 2000 the population has declined from 10,147. That being true, it's continues to be a nice place to live with the county seat being Emmetsburg. Small town values and prices predominate. I'll bet they have someone that makes good pie and sells it with a good cup of coffee on the town square. There must have been several folks in the vehicles. The first vehicle has 57-year-old Bruce Plucker driving a 2004 Oldsmobile; the second one is driven by a 77-year-old, Franklin Honold driving a 2005 Ford 500. And in those cars, I can't be sure which one, there are two passengers, 58 yo Wayne Vanveldhuizen and 71 yo Janice Honold. Mrs. Honold is described as having died from her injuries as did Bruce Plucker. The collision looks like a straight head-on type. 3. A crash occurred in Webster County on July 11, 2011 UNIT ONE WAS TRAVELING EASTBOUND ON 5TH AVE SOUTH EAST OF SOUTH 30TH STREET IN FORT DODGE. UNIT ONE LOST CONTROL LEFT THE DEISIGNATED ROADWAY IN THE CONSTRUCTION ZONE AND REAR ENDED A PARKED EXCAVATOR. This next one is in Webster County within the corporate limits of Fort Dodge, Iowa on July 11th at around 5:16 pm and within another construction zone. It's a two-vehicle collision caused by what's described as a loss of control or a failure to maintain control. The control issue immediately raises questions about speed, lookout and ... distractions for the driver of the offending vehicle. But if you dig deeper you will see the driver is an 81-year-old man driving another Ford F-150 and it appears he becomes confused, drives into the construction zone and right into the rear of an excavator. I was curious about what an SK330 excavator looks like so I did a search. It's manufactured by Kobelco, a Japanese company and is a crawler type of construction equipment. Follow this link to see what one looks like. The size and shape would make this piece of equipment hard to miss, the color is probably either yellow or green which should make it stand out. So the first issue we would address is why didn't the driver see it and stop before crashing into it? Of course the officer described the driver as having lost control before entering into the construction zone, so speed, lookout and control become the overriding issues to examine. 4. A crash occurred in Carroll County on July 11, 2011 V1 WAS WESTBOUND ON 170TH ST AT A HIGH RATE OF SPEED. V1 WENT OFF ONTO RIGHT SHOULDER AND THE DRIVER STEERED HARD TO THE LEFT. V1 LOST CONTROL AND ROLLED SEVERAL TIMES OFF THE ROADWAY TO THE LEFT. THE DRIVER AND ONE REAR PASSENGER WERE EJECTED. THE DRIVER OF V1 WAS KILLED FROM INJURIES SUSTAINED IN THE CRASH. THE TWO PASSENGERS RECIEVED SERIOUS INJURIES. The driver died and the two passengers were seriously injured in this one-vehicle rollover accident. Bad news can come in bunches; this collision is no exception. The officer describes a high rate of speed, a loss of control, swerving, losing control, off the hard surface, rolling and people being ejected from the rolling tin can. The driver was a fatal and the officer did have his blood drawn, an indication alcohol was suspected. The driver was a 19-year-old male, the passengers a 28 year-old man and a 27-year-old woman. All questions will center and where they were coming from at 12:34 a.m. and where were they heading to. Had the driver been drinking and did the passengers know he'd been drinking? If so is there complicity in the negligent acts leading up to the crash? 5. A crash occurred in Mahaska County on July 9, 2011
VEHICLE #1 WAS EASTBOUND ON UTAH ST. UTAH ST. CURVES TO THE NORTH WHERE IT BECOMES ADAMS AVE. VEHICLE #1 FAILED TO NEGOTIATE THE CURVE. AFTER EXITING THE CURVE VEHICLE #1 WENT ONTO THE WEST SIDE OF ADAMS AND THEN BACK TO THE EAST WHERE IT EXITED THE ROADWAY INTO THE EAST DITCH. AS VEHICLE #1TRAVELED INTO THE DITCH IT OVERTURNED ONTO ITS TOP EJECTING THE DRIVER. VEHICLE #1 CAME TO REST ON ITS TOP WITH THE DRIVER COMING TO REST BESIDE THE VEHICLE TO THE WEST. THE DRIVER WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE. THE EXACT COLLISION TIME IS UNKNOWN. THE DRIVER WAS REPORTED AS A MISSING PERSON ON THE NIGHT OF THE 9TH. THE DRIVER HAD LEFT HER RESIDENCE AT APPROXIMATELY 6:30 PM AND THE COLLISION SCENE WASN'T DISCOVERED UNTIL 11:50 AM ON THE 10TH OF JULY.
So what happened in this accident? Well, according to the report this 37-year-old woman was driving a 1995 GMC Jimmy and was involved in a single vehicle accident at the curb where Utah turns into Adams Avenue. From the description speed, lookout and state-of-mind would be likely causes to examine. The Jimmy rolled and ended up shiny side down. This is a sad case really; one involving what is described as a missing person who was thrown from the car; which makes me wonder if she was wearing a seat belt. I wish the family well in their grieving process.