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Mount Vernon firefighters help load a NAPA Auto Parts truck onto a tow-truck around 10:15 a.m. Wednesday after the parts truck collided with a road construction vehicle at mile marker 323 on Interstate 90, 2 miles west of the Betts Road exit. (Sean Ryan/Republic)

Driver hits construction truck, resulting in I-90 closure

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news Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

A truck crashed into a construction vehicle on Interstate 90 Wednesday between Mitchell and Mount Vernon, closing the westbound lanes for about 30 minutes.

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The crash occurred around 10:15 a.m. Wednesday near mile marker 323 on I-90, two miles west of the Betts Road exit.

Douglas Meidinger, 46, of Plankinton, was driving a 2003 Chevy Silverado when his vehicle crashed into a Freightliner directional construction truck, warning of road work ahead, driven by Manuel Zuniga-Rios, 59, of Powell, Wyo. Zuniga-Rios was following a truck that was grinding asphalt along the side of the road.

Capt. Alan Welsh of the South Dakota Highway Patrol said Meidinger's truck was passing another vehicle when he collided with the rear of the construction truck and hit the crash cushion on the Freightliner. The Freightliner had its flashers going when the accident occurred, Welsh said.

Meidinger was not wearing a seat belt, while Zuniga-Rios was buckled up and uninjured, according to Welsh. Meidinger was transported Avera Queen of Peace Hospital with serious, non-life threatening injuries.

Welsh said the truck driven by Meidinger was towed from the scene with incapacitated damage.

Westbound traffic was rerouted onto Highway 16 during the crash cleanup. There is no known cause of the crash, but Welsh said charges are pending for careless driving against Meidinger.

The Davison County Sheriff's Department, the Mount Vernon Fire Department and Mitchell Ambulance also responded.

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