ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Reasons for four-person fatal Alexandria crash still undetermined one year later

One year after a car crash killed four people near Alexandria, the reasons for the crash remain uncertain. According to the investigator's report on the crash, conducted by South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Peterson, the reason 75-year-...

1953841+082115.N.DR_.ACCIDENT1.jpg
Emergency Responders work to put out a fire caused from a two-vehicle crash on westbound Interstate 90 approximately a mile east of Alexandria on Thursday afternoon. (Matt Gade/Republic)

One year after a car crash killed four people near Alexandria, the reasons for the crash remain uncertain.

According to the investigator's report on the crash, conducted by South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Peterson, the reason 75-year-old Salem resident David Wise was driving eastbound in the westbound lane on Interstate 90 is unclear.

"It is unknown why driver of unit 1 was traveling the wrong way down the interstate or if the crash was deliberate," the report states.

According to the Highway Patrol, who sent a statement to The Daily Republic last week regarding the report, the crash was investigated in the same manner as all fatal crashes. The area was mapped, photos were taken and interviews were conducted.

But in cases like the Alexandria crash, where both drivers were killed, Highway Patrol said it's difficult to determine why the crash occurred.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Sometime the 'why' of the crash can't exactly be determined," the statement said. "This is one of those crashes."

While Highway Patrol said its troopers rely on facts, not speculation, one witness suspected Wise believed he was driving on a two-lane highway.

"He was doing a good job of driving," said Jim Arens, of Mitchell, who was listed as a witness in the Highway Patrol report. "He was driving normally like he was on a two-lane road."

Wise died in the crash, and the report states he had no alcohol in his system. Despite the lack of alcohol and unknown motives, Wise drove approximately 80 mph when he crashed head-on into another vehicle, killing three Omaha residents and seriously injuring another. The Omaha residents were traveling in the correct direction.

The report states Wise's 1995 Chevrolet truck had corn plants on the windshield, which possibly affected Wise's vision. The report also states that "good samaritans" were able to pull two passengers from the vehicle struck by Wise but were unable to remove the fatally injured drivers from the vehicles as they were consumed by flames.

Related Topics: CRASHESALEXANDRIA
What To Read Next
Lawmakers have said it is likely only one is affordable at this time without cutting programs or adding other taxes or revenue streams
Members Only
Although Mitchell's rates would be increase, the proposed equitable rate structure could lessen the increased costs for residential customers' water and sewer bills.
“We see that when things happen in the coastal areas, a few years later, they start trending toward the Midwest,” said Rep. Ben Krohmer, serving his first term in the House.
“This is sensationalism at its finest, and it does not deserve to be heard in our state capitol,” Rep. Erin Healy, a Democrat and one of 10 votes against the bill in the 70-person chamber, said.