March 27, 2016 Compendium of Recent Fatal Accidents in Iowa

6-Year-Old Boy Dies in Webster City Bicycle Collision

On March 6, a six-year-old boy died from injuries incurred when his bicycle hit a motorcycle on Bank Street. 53-year-old Wesley Newman was riding his motorcycle westbound on Bank Street when he ran into the boy on his bicycle. Jason Ramos Nolasco was transported to Van Diest Medical Center and then via helicopter to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, where he succumbed to his injuries. An investigation and charges are pending in this case.

Steve’s Comments: What will matter about this case is the position and speed of the bike and motorcycle in relation to each other and the roadway. The time of day will also matter. Witnesses are vital to being able to determine fault. Obviously an estate would need to be opened for Mr. Nolasco. The bike should be preserved and photographs of the car's damage and the accident scene are vitally important. Skid marks should be properly photographed and measured. An accident reconstruction expert will likely need to be employed. Don't wait hire your counsel immediately. 

10-Year-Old Dead in Skid Loader Incident

Ten-year-old Aaron Borntarager was injured in a skid loader incident on Saturday, March 12. Authorities from Wayne County found Borntarager injured in a field. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators do not anticipate filing any charges in the case. No further details have been released in the case at this time.

Steve’s Comments: This accident may involve a workers’ compensation claim or a product case. There really aren’t enough facts to know where it might go legally.

Minnesota Woman Dies in Single Car Accident

Robin J. Meredith, 55, was westbound on Highway 24 near Fort Atkins at 9:36 a.m. on March 12. Her SUV went off the road, hit a railing, then went airborne and careened down an embankment. Meredith was wearing a seat belt but was still ejected from the vehicle. She was transported to a Winnishiek hospital where she was pronounced dead from her injuries.

Steve’s Comments: This is an interesting set of facts. I work with Michigan lawyers who have certain fact situations they find actionable. We work together on these cases and this is one that has some of the indicia of what we want to see in order to proceed. One question seems obvious. Why didn’t the seatbelt hold the woman inside the car? If I can assist to answer that question I would be interested in talking to the spouse, parents or other relatives. KEEP THE CAR! DON'T LET THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER TAKE POSSESSION AND DESTROY IT!

Semi Driver Dies in Highway 30 Crash

Robert Lee Spidle, Jr., 50, died due to injuries he sustained in a Highway 30 crash on March 14th. Spidle was traveling westbound through Clinton County at approximately 10:30 a.m. Spidle’s semi left the roadway, entered a ditch, and then flipped into a cornfield. Spidle was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. An investigation in ongoing.

Steve’s Comments: This looks like a workers’ compensation claim that Mr. Spidle’s dependents, widow and or dependent children would have the right to pursue. They may be happy with just receiving the weekly benefits although getting one-lump sum is beneficial in this interest rate environment. I would say you should at least ask, find out the amount of a lump sum and listen to the risks of keeping the weekly benefits. Advice is free and the lump sum is on a contingent fee basis. Call us if you wish to hear our thoughts and advice. The only thing wrong with not getting advice is you will not understand your options. Call us.

Pregnant Woman Dies in ATV Accident

Jordan Muxfeldt, 27, and her three-year-old son were riding an ATV together in Harrison County on March 14th. At approximately 1:25 pm, Muxfeldt made an abrupt turn. The turn caused the ATV to flip, injuring both Muxfeldt and her son. Jordan was flown to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska where she was pronounced dead. Her son, Wade, is being treated for injuries at Nebraska Medical Center and is reportedly in good condition.

Steve’s Comments: ATV accidents are common especially with the older three-wheeled versions. These cases are fact-driven and no ATV case is the same as another.

Semi Driver Dies in Single Vehicle Accident

At 3:18 pm on March 16th, a semi driver was killed in a crash on US 61 south of LeClaire Road. Police found the trailer in a ditch on the side of the road. Speculation remains as to whether the accident may have occurred due to high winds or a medical incident. The driver, Eric Kass, 46, of Dodgeville, Wisconsin was pronounced dead and an autopsy is pending.

Steve’s Comments: This is likely a workers’ compensation case similar to the Spidle case above. Read my comments there as they apply equally here.

Scott County Man Dies in Auto Accident

On March 16th at 6:08 pm, a two-car collision occurred in Scott County near Utica Ridge Road and 210th Street. Lucas Johnson, 34, had entered the intersection at Utica Ridge Road and 210th Street when he was struck by 18-year-old Christopher Patricio. Patricio failed to obey the stop sign and entered the intersection, striking Johnson. Both cars careened into a nearby ditch and Johnson’s car hit a utility pole. Johnson died at the scene and Patricio and a passenger were treated for injuries.

Steve’s Comments: Assuming the report of the accident is accurate, this is a pretty clear-cut case of liability, although after 35-years of practicing personal injury accident law, nothing is as clear as it seems. Like the case above witnesses will be important as will accident scene statements made to the police officer who investigated the collision. Relatives and spouse should act quickly and secure legal counsel. If we hear from you great, if we don’t good luck with your case. Like the comments in the Nolasco case above a proper investigation is vitally important to preserve the right evidence. Waiting is not going to help, it will only hinder the road to a successful outcome. 

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