The winters is about over with and spring is just around the corner. You would think with roads and highways being free of snow and ice the number of fatalities and serious personal injury mva’s would be decreasing. There are several which appear to have several causes with two from flying debris. This is a bit unusual for flying debris to be a cause of injury or death. The debris I normally see at this time of year would be ice sheets coming off the roofs of semi-trailers. A few weeks ago I posted a blog about this very accident cause under the practice area “Car and Tractor Trailer Accidents”. The others seem to be caused mostly by a failure to keep a proper lookout or to maintain control and then there is the failure to yield the right-of-way at a stop sign. If you have a question about these or other accidents feel free to send me an email at [email protected].

13-Year-Old Boy Killed in Single Vehicle Accident on D14

Duane Touney, 13, was killed and 5 other people were injured on February 13, 2016 when their Chevy Venture careened into a field. The accident occurred when the vehicle, driven by Rose Touney, swerved into a ditch on D14. Touney lost control and the Venture rolled into a field, ejecting its passengers. Out of the six people in the car, only the driver was wearing a seatbelt. Duane Touney was pronounced dead at the scene and the surviving passengers were taken to Unity Point Health.

Rule of the Road: A failure to maintain control, speed and probably lookout are all possible liability issues.

Tractor Trailer Kills Sheffield Woman

Penny Rust, 36, was killed around 6:45 p.m. on February 16, 2016 when her van was hit by a tractor-trailer driven by Antonio Marecheau. The accident occurred at the intersection of Highway 65 and County Road C25 in Franklin County when Marecheau failed to stop at a stop sign and his semi collided with Rust’s van. Rust died from her injuries at the scene and Marecheau was taken to Franklin General Hospital for treatment. An investigation is ongoing in this case.

Rule of the Road: Failure to yield from a stop sign may have been a factor.

Chickasaw County Accident Leaves One Injured

On February 18, 2016, one person was injured when a two-car accident occurred on Highway 63. Vicente Nunez, 51, was driving southbound on highway 63 between 110th and 130th Street and lost control of his Volkswagen Trailer. Nunes crossed the center line and hit another a second car. The second vehicle, a semi driven by Christopher Steinke, 28, of Winona, Minnesota, was northbound at the time of the collision.

Rule of the Road: A failure to maintain control, speed and probably lookout. These out-of-state drivers will need an Iowa lawyer to preserve the statute of limitations on their claims. 

Walcott Resident Killed on Highway by Flying Debris

Richard Allen Miedema of Walcott, Iowa was killed February 23, 2016 when his 2016 GMC Acadia was struck by a piece of debris that was kicked up by another car. The accident occurred at approximately 4:41 pm near mile marker 295 eastbound on I-80. Road debris, said to be a car part, came through Miedema’s windshield and injured him. His injuries proved fatal to the 65-year-old Miedema, but a passenger in the vehicle was not injured.

Rule of the Road: This is an interesting case from a liability standpoint especially when considering who was hauling the debris that ended up in the roadway. Someone will need to get out quickly to secure the debris, photograph it and to examine it to see if there are any identifying marks that might help identify the owner.

Lawson Killed in Highway 2 Collision

On February 23, 2016, Carolyn May Lawson was killed during three-car accident at the intersection of Highway 2 and Lilac Avenue in Davis County. The accident occurred when Marilyn Fay Roberts failed to notice a Toyota van, driven by Kristine Kaelin, which had come to a stop prior to making a right-hand turn on Lilac Avenue. Roberts applied her brakes and swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid hitting Kaelin’s van.  Roberts’ vehicle was hit head-on by 82-year-old Forest Lawson. Forest Lawson was injured and Carolyn May Lawson succumbed to her injuries.

Rule of the Road: Failure to maintain a proper lookout may be involved. One has to wonder about the failure to notice reference and whether or not a cell phone was the distracting device. 

FedEx Semi Loses Control on I80

On February 27, 2016, Bruce White, 69, and J. Max Robinson, 20, were airlifted to an Omaha hospital when White’s FedEx semi ran off the road. The accident occurred as White traveled eastbound on Interstate 80. White lost control of the vehicle and went over the median and into a ditch. A Dodge Ram pickup, driven by Jakob Quibble of Danville, New York, was traveling westbound and was damaged by flying debris. Quibble was uninjured.

Rule of the Road: Failure to maintain control.  It is not possible to know without more information but these injury events may also lead to a workers' compensation claim.

TIP: Investigating cases is not always easy or straight forward and requires some diligence in order to preserve the necessary evidence. Without the right evidence your personal injury claim will fail. And keep in mind that the insurance companies involved, yours included, have no duty to preserve evidence for you. ​Your lawyer’s job is to first gather and to preserve the evidence; and if that isn’t happening find yourself one who will and knows what to do. 

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