Category: Iowa State Patrol

Three-Vehicle Crash Involving State Trooper in Union County

UNION COUNTY, Iowa – Investigators are looking into what caused a three-vehicle crash involving a State Trooper Friday morning.

It happened around 6:45 a.m. on Highway 169 south of Afton, near 205th Street. Sgt. Nate Ludwig with the Iowa State Patrol says a conversion van was traveling northbound when it clipped the rear bumper of the white SUV in front of it then ricocheted into the oncoming lane of traffic. That’s where it struck a southbound unmarked Iowa State Patrol SUV.

Investigators are not yet sure if the van was trying to pass the white SUV when the crash happened or whether the SUV was not yet up to highway speed after turning out of a nearby driveway and the van was swerving to avoid a collision.

The driver of the van, who is seven-months-pregnant, was injured and taken to the hospital. Her current condition is unavailable.

The Trooper suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital to be checked out.

The driver of the other SUV was not injured.

Three-Vehicle Crash Involving State Trooper in Madison County

MADISON COUNTY, Iowa – Investigators are looking into what caused a three-vehicle crash involving a State Trooper Friday morning.

It happened around 6:45 a.m. on Highway 169 south of Winterset and north of Lorimor, near 305th Street. Sgt. Nate Ludwig with the Iowa State Patrol says a conversion van was traveling northbound when it clipped the rear bumper of the white SUV in front of it then ricocheted into the oncoming lane of traffic. That’s where it struck a southbound unmarked Iowa State Patrol SUV.

Investigators are not yet sure if the van was trying to pass the white SUV when the crash happened or whether the SUV was not yet up to highway speed after turning out of a nearby driveway and the van was swerving to avoid a collision.

The driver of the van, who is seven-months-pregnant, was injured and taken to the hospital. Her current condition is unavailable.

The Trooper suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital to be checked out.

The driver of the other SUV was not injured.

Iowa State Patrol Partners with DMACC to Promote Motorcycle Safety

DES MOINES, Iowa – Des Moines Area Community College and Iowa State Patrol are partnering together to educate people on safety for motorcyclists.

DMACC offers a motorcycle rider course known as BRC for beginners and BRC ll for experienced drivers.

Iowa requires anyone under the age of 18 to complete and pass the rider education course before obtaining a motorcycle license.

DMACC requires students to take the MDF E-course and get a certificate before registering for the BRC course.

Iowa State Patrol Sergent Nathan Ludwig said the partnership gives them the opportunity to promote safe driving.

“You have a lot of motorcycle riders, operators, that have been out of it for awhile and they want to get back on a motorcycle. They get their license and take their test, but this refresher course that DMACC offers really kind of brings back those things that you may forget as a former motorcycle operator,” Ludwig said.

Different skills taught in the course include normal stop, sharp left turn, cone weave, right-u-turn, quick stop, and obstacle swerve.

DMACC provides people in the BRC course with materials and helmets. If someone chooses to bring their own helmet, they need to be certified by DOT.

“Iowa is one of two states that doesn’t have some sort of a motorcycle helmet law. We tell people no matter how short or how long the trip, make sure you put that motorcycle helmet on. The majority of the crashes are vehicles turning left in front of motorcyclist just because they are not paying attention,” Ludwig said.

According to the Iowa State Patrol on average there are around 40 fatalities from motorcycle’s each year. Many of the accidents happen in the month of August.

In 2018 there were 42 fatalities and 41 crashes. Thirty-one of those motorcyclists were not wearing a helmet.

Ludwig said it is important for vehicle drivers to be paying attention at all times.

“Paying attention. Putting your phone down. Watch for motorcycles, it’s that time of the year. People think that motorcycles are dangerous, but it is actually other drivers that create those accidents because they are not paying attention that makes it dangerous for motorcyclists,” Ludwig said.

As of May 15th, there have been five motorcycle-related deaths this year.

Click here to review the full motorcycle operator manual.

State Patrol Warns Drivers After Illegal U-Turn Kills Three Iowa Boys

IOWA — The untimely deaths of three young eastern Iowa boys are an unfortunate reminder to obey traffic signs and not use medians as a way to U-turn.

“Always make sure you have enough time because you don’t realize how fast those vehicles are coming at you,” Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Scott Bright said, while driving down Interstate 80 in his patrol car.

Bright uses medians frequently while working on interstates.

“When we’re approaching one of [the medians] we usually turn our back lights on so people know we’re slowing down and we’re going to put our turn signal on to go into it,” Bright said.

State troopers and emergency personnel who are meant to use these medians take extra precautions, but still, safety is a concern.

“It is a dangerous situation for anybody who uses that crossover, even for us. I mean we’re out there every day working,” Bright said.

“I just turned my radar on and we have cars running 79 mph,” Bright said, while sitting at a median on I-80.

Because of the speed of traffic behind you and speed of traffic coming at you, signs are clearly marked prohibiting U-turns for regular travelers, but state troopers say it happens more than they would like to see.

“You see it on a daily basis, usually. You just have to be at the right spot at the right time because if they see us coming down the interstate, they aren’t going to do it,” Bright said.

It’s a typical scenario. You’re driving on the interstate and miss your exit, you see an upcoming median and think you can take a U-turn to save some time and get going the other way, but the Iowa State Patrol says that can be costly on people’s lives.

In 2018, the Iowa State Patrol handed out 275 tickets for this offense. It is a $195 citation, but the decision could cost a lot more than money.

“We lost three lives that could’ve been preventable,” Bright said. He also says speed of cars can be very much deceiving at those medians. That is just one of the many reasons they are so dangerous.