There are many causes of what makes a car, truck, motorcycle, ATV or bicycle crash, but after 35 years of practicing personal injury law a few things seem to stand out. You can classify most into categories that include, texting while driving, drunk driving, driving too fast (excessive speed), inattentiveness and inexperience. The teenage driver with a car load of teenage passengers is probably as much of a problem as is texting-while-driving and driving-under-the-influence (drunk driving). I know a lawyer who always bought his teenagers two-seater cars because a bunch of high schoolers squeezed into a car usually spells trouble, with a capital T. Here are news items for twenty motor vehicle accidents over the past two-weeks and just in Iowa. If you’re a teenager and you want to know how not to become a statistic read these crash reports and commit them to memory. And as always if you need help dealing with the insurance adjuster in your case give us a call.
Man Identified In Sac County Crash
Rieng Lo, 64, was pronounced dead at the scene of an accident on Saturday, April 23rd after his car was hit by another motorist in Sac County. Russell John Bucky, who was driving a 2007 Freightliner, struck the back of Lo’s car on Highway 20 and pushed it into a ditch where both vehicles caught fire. Bucky was not harmed in the incident. The crash is currently under investigation by the Sac County Sherriff’s Office and the Iowa State Police.
Man Dies in Car Accident Due to Possible Medical Condition
54-year-old Dale Vahl of Ashton died Monday, April 25th when his Peterbilt tractor trailer drove off Tyler Avenue at approximately 12:15 pm. Investigators believe that Vahl suffered a medical condition and was pronounced dead at the scene. The tractor trailer was not damaged in the incident.
One Dead in Carroll County Crash
At approximately 1:53 pm on Monday, April 25th, a traffic accident occurred on US Highway 71 and 180th Street. Kera Ann Shriver of Jefferson was traveling southbound on US Highway 71 when she collided with a Honda Civic traveling northbound, driven by Debora Kay Claussen, 39, of Carroll. Carol Jane Roetker, 56, a passenger in the Civic, died due to her injuries in the accident. Shriver and Claussen were both transferred to St. Anthony’s for treatment of their injuries.
Man Killed After Exiting Vehicle to Repair Tire
Zachary Gueller, 21, of Mason City, had been driving a minivan on Highway 218 near 260th Street when he realized his vehicle had a flat tire. Mueller pulled to the side of the road and exited to minivan to investigate the tire. A truck driven by Loren Musch, 28, left the highway and moved onto the shoulder. He hit and killed Gueller and collided into the van. Multiple individuals were transported to area hospitals. This accident remains under investigation.
Man Killed in Single Vehicle Accident Near Le Grand
Matthew Seim, 51, of Marshalltown died in a single vehicle accident near Le Grand at the intersection of Highway 30 and Highway 146. Seim was traveling eastbound on Highway 30 near 2:00 am on Wednesday, April 27th. Investigations indicate he left the roadway and traveled over the median before hitting an overpass and becoming airborne. The vehicle landed on its roof and was in flames when emergency personnel arrived. Seim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Two Injured in Highway 10 Accident
Logan Vlotho, 21, of Ireton was driving his Volkswagen southbound on Route 10 on Thursday, April 28th at 3:45 pm. Judy Carpenter, 52, of Wagner, South Dakota, was also driving southbound on Route 10 when both cars collided. Both drivers were transported to the Hawarden Regional Healthcare Hospital for treatment of their injuries.
Accident, Death Caused by Possible Medical Condition
A Nissan Murano, driven by Jack Schoelerman, 75, left the road near the intersection of North Main Street and 130th Avenue. This single-car incident occurred around 10:54 a.m. Friday, April 29th. Schoelerman was unresponsive and was later pronounced dead. Authorities suspect a medical condition is to blame for the accident and death.
One Dead in Mills County Collision
Ismail Mulondo, 53, was driving his Chevy on Highway 34, east of 370th Street, when he crossed over into the westbound lane. Two vehicles swerved off the road to avoid Mulondo, and a third vehicle maneuvered into the eastbound lanes just as Mulondo corrected and returned to those same lanes. Mulondo collided head-on with the Ford at approximately 6:39 pm. Mulonda died and passengers from both vehicles were transported to local hospitals with injuries.
17-Year-Old Student Dies in Car Crash
Dakota “Cody” Gittins, 17, died in a car accident Sunday, just east of Honey Creek, Iowa. The single-car-accident occurred around 2:40 a.m. when a Ford Escort filled with teenage passengers left the roadway, went into a ditch, and rolled onto its top at 185th and Sumac Road. Several other teenagers face non-life-threatening injuries. The community is mourning Gittins, an athletic junior at Underwood High School, and an investigation is ongoing.
20-Year-Old Dies in Rollover Accident Early Sunday Morning
William Johns, 20, of Dorchester, died after a vehicle struggled to negotiate a curve and left Highway 76 near Dorchester Drive at around 2:19 a.m., on May 1st. The car rolled and came to a stop upside down. Johns died due to his injuries, and two others were transported to a local hospital for treatment. The accident is under investigation.
Motorcyclist Dies After Sunday Morning Collision
Jonathon Ihnen, 53, was driving his motorcycle on 11th Avenue SW when a vehicle driven by Linda Kunzmann pulled directly into his path, forcing the vehicles to collide. Ihnen was taken directly to Spencer Hospital, but was dead on arrival. An investigation is ongoing and charges are pending in this case.
Excessive Speed Cited as Cause of Fatal Motorcycle Crash
Michael Broderson, 25, was driving his motorcycle on 100 East Street in Mineral Township Sunday, April 17th. At around 4:00 pm, Broderson failed to properly negotiate a turn and skidded off the opposite side of the roadway. The motorcycle first maneuvered through approximately 300 feet of fields before becoming airborne over a drainage ditch. When the vehicle landed again, Broderson was thrown over 50 feet. Emergency personnel pronounced Broderson dead at the scene of the accident. Police speculate the cause to be excessive speed and a loss of control.
2 Men Die in Pickup Crash in Kossuth County
Henry Fraker, 63, and passenger David Ludwig, 65, were traveling on US Highway 18 on Monday, April 18th at around 1:45 pm. Fraker lost control of the 1999 Chevy Silverado, traveled up an embankment and flipped before hitting a utility pole. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene by emergency personnel.
Motorcycle Rider Dies as He Allegedly Flees from Police
Council Bluffs police attempted to stop two motorcycles at around 10:20 pm on April 19th. Both motorcycle riders fled the stop at high speeds. 18-year-old Lance McCormick lost control of his 2006 Yamaha just west of the intersection of 16th Street and Nash Boulevard. McCormick was ejected as the motorcycle went over a curb and struck a fence. McCormick was wearing a helmet and was transported to Mercy Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Preliminary reports indicate the motorcycle McCormick was riding was reported stolen on April 12th.
Man Dies in Accident at Iowa Premium Beef
22-year-old Roger J. Purk of Tama died early Wednesday morning after getting caught in a piece of machinery at the Iowa Premium Beef factory. Police and rescue personnel responded to a call at around 3:50 am on Wednesday, April 20th. He was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation into this incident is ongoing.
Two Killed in Accident with Semi
On Thursday, April 21st, a Toyota Camry driven by Annie Kumcho Ngum, 32, of Coon Rapids stopped briefly at a stop sign on Eddyville Road before crossing over Highway 63 near Chillicothe. A semi driver traveling east on Highway 63 collided with the car, killed both Ngum and passenger Patience Ndikum Mbuh, 31, also of Coon Rapids. Witnesses noted that the semi driver appeared uninjured.
Bicyclist Thrown Off Her Bike, Killed in Crash
Joleen Marie Stork, 60, of Glidden, was riding her mountain bike west on County Road E-26 Friday, April 22nd. At around 6:42 pm, a Chevy Silverado driven by 83-year-old Walter James Wenck struck Stork’s bicycle. The force of the crash caused Stork to land in a north ditch. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Polk County Accident Leaves Woman Dead
Susannah Dryer Thompson, 44, was pronounced dead at the scene of a crash early Saturday, April 23rd. The crash occurred when a Ford pickup truck traveling west on I-80 in Polk County changed lanes and collided with a semi’s trailer. The truck hit a guardrail, and both passengers were ejected as it went airborne. The man driving the truck was transported to the hospital. Charges are pending and an investigation is ongoing.
Driver Killed in Fiery Accident
Shortly after 6:00 am on April 23rd, on US Highway 20 in Sac County, a car and a semi were found in flames in a ditch. Both vehicles were severely burned. The driver of the car was pronounced dead, and the condition of the truck driver is unknown at this point. The semi, registered to Panama Transfer, was carrying corn herbicide and the Region 5 HAZMAT team responded to the scene. An investigation into the accident is ongoing, and the name of the deceased has not yet been released.
Des Moines Resident Dies in Saturday Morning Crash
Timothy Joseph Zepeda, 54, of Des Moines, was killed around 8:42 am on Saturday, April 23rd. Early indications appear that Zepeda had left his vehicle on Interstate 235 in Des Moines to retrieve an object from the roadway. He was struck by Stuart Pannkuk, 54, of Webster City. An investigation is ongoing.