The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 1:05 PM, 30-year-old Brandi Block of Alvord was southbound on Highway 75, about a mile south of Rock Rapids. She was driving a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix and due to a white out from blowing snow had stopped for a moment and then continued south. She crossed over into the northbound lane and struck a 2000 Honda Civic, driven by 60-year-old Robert Bender of Valley Springs, SD who was traveling northbound. Both Block’s and Bender’s vehicle were then struck by a tractor/trailer that was also traveling northbound; driven by 20-year-old Taylor Kats of Rock Valley. The tractor was a 2001 International and was pulling a 2000 Wilson grain trailer, both owned by Arlin Groeneweg of Rock Valley.
A 7-year-old that was in Block’s vehicle and Robert Bender were transported to Sanford Hospital in Rock Rapids.
Block’s and Bender’s vehicles were considered totaled. Groeneweg’s tractor/trailer sustained an estimated $8,000 in damages.
As rescue personnel were handling that accident a second multi-vehicle accident occurred south of that location. Forty-nine-year-old John Hoek of Sioux Falls was parked behind an emergency vehicle in a 2005 Ford Bronco, followed by 39-year-old Terry Schmidt of Rock Rapids in a 2006 Dodge Caravan, who was followed by 31-year-old Jessica Vandehoef of Sioux Center in a 2007 Chevy Tahoe. Fifty-one-year-old Brian Kanzenbach of New Ulm, MN, was driving a tractor/trailer owned by Shelter Products Inc. of New Ulm, MN. He struck all three vehicles because he was unable to stop for the first accident that was blocking the roadway.
Schmidt was transported to Sanford Rock Rapids Hospital and was treated for minor injuries.
Hoek’s vehicle sustained approximately $7,000 in damages. Schmidt’s vehicle sustained an estimated $6,000 in damages. Damages to Vandehoef’s vehicle was estimated at $5,000. Kanzenbach’s tractor sustained approximately $15,000 in damages.
Assisting the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office were the Rock Rapids Fire Department, Lyon County Ambulance, Railside Towing, Scotty’s Paint & Body, and Dusty’s Auto Body.