Official Cause Of Wreck That Killed Four To Be Listed As Undetermined

Date posted - April 2, 2013

SDHP patch South Dakota Highway PatrolSioux Falls, SD — We may never know what caused the accident that killed the family of a Northwestern College student.

The family of Northwestern College sophomore Brittany Vollmer died in a crash on Interstate 90 near Sioux Falls on February 23.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol is reporting it has been unable to determine the cause of the crash that killed four members of the Sioux Falls family.

What is known is that 52-year-old James Arthur Vollmer of Sioux Falls was driving a 2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac that drifted off the interstate into the median and crashed shortly after 5 PM that day. Killed with Vollmer were his 48-year-old wife Julie; 16-year-old daughter Allysa; and 13-year-old son Caleb.

The crash happened one mile west of Sioux Falls at mile marker 394. All four occupants were wearing seatbelts.

An autopsy found no evidence of a medical problem or condition that could have contributed to the crash, said Capt. Kevin Joffer of the Highway Patrol’s Sioux Falls district office. A mechanic who examined the vehicle found no evidence of a mechanical failure or problem, Joffer said.

Toxicology reports showed no evidence of drug or alcohol use, and the investigation found no evidence of any adverse weather or roadway conditions, any animals or any other vehicle involvement that could have caused or contributed to the crash, he said.

There was no evidence of texting or cell-phone use, and witness statements indicate the Vollmer vehicle was traveling at about the same speed as other vehicles on the interstate.

Joffer says that at this point, they are unable to say what caused the crash. He says, QUOTE, “We have conducted a thorough investigation. If additional leads are developed, we will investigate them just as thoroughly. We understand that family members, friends and others in the community have many questions that we have been unable to answer. We join with the rest of the community in expressing our sorrow at the loss of this family.”

A fund has been established to assist Brittany Vollmer, the Northwestern College sophomore who lost the four members of her family.

Checks can be made payable to the Brittany Vollmer Fund, c/o Northwestern College, 101 7th St. SW, Orange City, Iowa 51041 or c/o Sioux Falls Christian Schools, 6120 S. Charger Circle, Sioux Falls, S.D. 57108.

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