Two people died while another five suffered injuries in Washington County, Iowa. This multiple car collision happened on May 23, 2009 at Highway 92 and Lexington Avenue around 2:37 P.M.  The crash seems to have occurred when a 1997 Chevrolet pickup truck failed to stop at a stop sign causing a crash with a 2006 Mercury Mountaineer being driven by Samuel Langstaff of Indianola. As they say in the movies, bada-bing bada-boom!

Langstaff’s car suffered more than three collisions and appears to have been the most seriously impacted. The first was with the 1997 Chevrolet truck driven by Andrew Brock of Washington, Iowa. The truck struck Langstaff’s car in the passenger side. That forced Langstaff into the westbound lane where it was then struck a second time on the driver’s side by a 1999 Mack diesel semi-truck driven by Jared Freel. Langstaff’s car after the second collision ended up rolling and came to rest on its top. Rolling on the pavement was the third collision.  But that wasn’t all there was because Langstaff’s car then caught fire. Langstaffs died in this series of four collisions. Also, a passenger Jacqueline Langstaff was killed. Both Langstaff’s are from Indianola.

At 17-years of age Brock is a younger driver. He too was injured. The way this report is written if the facts are that Brock ran a stop sign, failing to yield the right of way, then he’ll more than likely be found at fault and be liable for all the damages.  That can be significant, to say the least. There are the owner’s property damage for three vehicles one of which is a semi-truck. The semi truck may have had cargo in the trailer that is owned by someone else. Any damage to that cargo will result in a forth property damage claim. The there are the drivers and passengers in each vehicle who can file a claim against him. Young people need to understand how the world works and who pays what and when. Young drivers should heed the lessons in this case. This will be an expensive lesson to learn.  Aside from him there were 8 other people injured or killed.

He has his own damages to contend with as well.

The accident report shows both Langstaff’s wore their seat belts and they were 29 and 30 years old.

The semi truck was owned by Black Hawk Soil Service, Inc. of West Chester, Iowa. The driver of that semi, Jared Steel isn’t shown as one of the injured in the preliminary report although in the summary he was noted to have been taken to the Washington Hospital by ambulance.

What a mess. This is going to be a mentally exhausting lesson for the young driver. Also injured are Spencer Miller, age 15, David Haifley age 16 and Travis Filben age 19.

I follow just about every accident happening in Iowa that results in a fatality and consistently you see distractions causing the drivers to make mistakes. I have no way of knowing in this case what caused the driver to not stop at the stop sign, but it won’t be surprising if all these young people are found to be in the same car.  Were they all talking? Were they fooling around? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

The Iowa State Patrol’s final report will probably out in the next 7 to 10 days.
This story is also covered by the Des Moines Register and KCCI News.

Highway 92 & Lexington Blvd, Washington, Iowa 52353

Highway 92 is an east west highway. Lexington Road is a diagonal in a northwest to southeast direction. The aerial map from Mapquest shows this to be a rural area between West Chester and Washington.


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