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Dump truck, grader crash avoids injuries

ALEXANDRIA — An accident involving a road grader and a dump truck pulling a trailer resulted in a vicious crash, but no injuries.

The crash happened at about 3 p.m. Tuesday on state Highway 38 at the intersection of 423rd Avenue in Jasper Township, about four miles northeast of Alexandria.

The road grader, driven by John Bauerle, 69, of Alexandria, was working on 423rd Avenue when it stopped at the intersection’s stop sign. Bauerle attempted to make a left turn in front of a westbound dump truck, driven by Kenneth Wittstruck, 58, of Mitchell, who struck the grader in the passenger side.

Wittstruck did not have a stop sign, while Bauerle pulled out in front of Wittstruck when he was driving through the intersection.

According to South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper John Lord, the dump truck and trailer was hit into the north ditch on Highway 38 and went through a fence and into a field. The grader was spun around on the highway and the crash ripped the front right tire of the grader off its axle.

Lord reported that Bauerle was working on a township road for Jasper Township, while Wittstruck was traveling to the asphalt plant near Spencer.

Both drivers were wearing their seat belt at the time, and no serious injuries occurred.

Bauerle had a cut above his eye but was taken from the scene by family. Wittstruck was taken to Avera Occupational Health in Mitchell and later released.

Lord said a citation was issued to Bauerle for a stop sign violation. Speed was not deemed a factor in the crash.

The Hanson County Sheriff’s Department, Alexandria Fire Department, Mitchell Ambulance also assisted at the scene.