DOT Worker Struck While Crossing the Street in Ankeny

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A DOT worker fixing the lights on southeast Oralabor Road was struck by a car. The driver was a young woman from Bondurant. The accident occurred early in the morning at around 4:30 a.m... The worker, Philip Jensen was wearing a reflective vest as he crossed the westbound and then the eastbound lanes of traffic where he was struck. He was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines with head and leg injuries.

Road and highway workers are at a greater risk of injury due to where they do their job. Unfortunately for them drivers seem more distracted than ever with things to do while in the driver's seat. There is no indication in this article why the young driver didn't see the worker. Until more of the facts are known there is no way of determining fault.

In other news a Drake University graduate working as a reporter is missing in Glacier National Park in Montana.

Two reporters, a pilot and an unidentified passenger are missing somewhere in Glacier National Park after the plane flying them on a sightseeing tour in the Park lost contact with the Glacier Park International Airport tower at 2:11 p.m. Sunday. Erika Hoefer, 27, a reporter with the Daily Inter Lake of Kalispell graduated from Drake in 2005, started working for the Inter Lake designing pages and writing stories before becoming a full-time reporter.

It's unclear whether Ms. Hoefer was on assignment or a personal sightseeing trip. If a personal trip she or her surviving dependents would not be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Often times there are a dual purpose to these trips and as a lawyer I strongly suggest workers in high risk occupations carry sufficient life insurance. This is the second or third story I've read in the past two-years where a reporter has been injured or killed while working.

This next news story has all the makings of a lawsuit. Let's hope the driver of this truck has casualty insurance. In this personal injury news story from the Des Moines Register an errant mattress that flew off the bed of a pickup truck in Linn County cause a 73-year-old man from Cedar Rapids to crash his motorcycle. The crash killed the driver, John Saddler, who by the way was wearing a helmet. The driver of any vehicle, truck-car-semi, who has a load is responsible for it being properly secured; and any injury or death caused by the load coming loose is legally responsible. A mattress is like a sail and with a little wind becomes airborne; which in this case it certainly did. Was it reasonable to not secure the mattress such that it would not come loose? You've gotta use your head when carrying a load.

A teenager in Indianola has been charged with first degree murder even though two teens called 911 to say the other teen in the home had been accidentally shot. The trial will have to iron out those details of intent. At best this sounds like manslaughter, not murder. Are they being overcharged? That 911 call transcript will certainly become a focal point of the case. Both prosecution and defense will use the words to try and show either intent or a lack of intent. What may cause problems for the prosecution is the age of the boy who police say admitted firing the weapon. He's 14 and in Iowa if I recall the law correctly his parents need to be present when he was questioned. The Des Moines Register article publishing that he admitted firing the weapon that killed the 16-year-old isn't clear on whether that was the case. Right now the case remains in the juvenile court system.

"During an interview, (Daniel Allen) Nadler stated that he and (James David) Doyle were in a heated argument," Indianola Police Detective Sgt. Brian Sher wrote in a report. "At one point Nadler loaded the shotgun, which was originally unloaded, cocked the shotgun and pulled the trigger while he was pointing the shotgun at Doyle."

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