Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

February 18, 2014

Double accident early Monday

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Knoxville — No injuries and no citations came from a two-pronged, three-vehicle accident in the early morning hours of Monday, Feb. 17. 

Knoxville Police Officer Corey Derby responded to a two-semi accident on the four-lane of Highway 92, just past Highway 14, at 0358 Monday morning. A semi driven by Scott Bakos, 40, of Mapleton, was attempting to pass another semi driven by Donald Wayne Hensely, 76, of Kansas City, Mo., on an embanked area of the highway.

Because of the ice, as Bakos attempted to make the pass, his vehicle slid into the Hensley vehicle, striking the side. Both vehicles went into the median. Derby happened to be in the area. He witnessed the accident and responded.

While the two vehicles were in the median, and Derby was taking a report, an Iowa Department of Transportation sand truck, driven by Brent Alan Pearson, 42, of Knoxville, also slid in the same area and struck the Bakos vehicle at 0410. 

Derby said he was lucky not to be hit by the DOT vehicle. A third semi was passing as Derby was preparing the report, which almost did the same thing. Derby saw it and waved it to move past the accident scene at a faster speed to avoid another collision. 

It was at that point Derby asked the Marion County Sheriff's Office to shut the highway down at the next exit until the accidents could be cleared. Derby said he was trying to pitch salt out at the accident scene, but it was still raining. The salt was ineffective, as the ground immediately froze over. 

A tow truck responded and got the vehicles out of the median. The highway was reopened. Derby advises drivers that if they do not trust the weather conditions, one should find a safe place off of the road to wait out a storm.

"If you ever question surface conditions, trust your instincts and pull over," Derby said. 

More bad weather is expected Thursday. Marion County is under a blizzard watch between 6 a.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday.