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4 dead, at least 7 injured in crashes across Iowa


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Dozens of cars were involved in a multi-car pileup on I-35 in Ames. Captain Barry Thomas with the Story County Sheriff’s Office said he’s never seen anything like this.

Four people died and at least seven others were injured Monday in crashes throughout Iowa, authorities said.

A 13-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl were killed after a crash at about 8:30 a.m. Monday when two vehicles collided on County Road W40 in Decorah in Winneshiek County, State Patrol said. Four other teenagers, ages 14 and 15, were injured and hospitalized. 

Those killed were identified as Avery Arneson, 17, and Aden Arneson, 13, both of whom are from Decorah. It was not immediately clear if the two were related, but they were passengers in the same car, police said. 

The crash occurred when a 1990 Oldsmobile Alero, driven by Avery Arneson, was traveling northbound on County Road W40 and lost control, crossed the center line and slid sideways, colliding with the passenger side of a 2008 Ford F-150, police said. Those injured were taken to Winneshiek Medical Center and Gundersen Hospital. 

It was not immediately clear if weather contributed to the crash, though it sounded weather related from the crash report, said Sgt. Nathan Ludwig, a spokesman for Iowa State Patrol. Jeff Ritzman, a colonel with State Patrol, also suspected the crash was weather related.  

In another crash hours later, one person died and several people were critically injured in a major pileup involving 50 to 70 cars, buses and semi-trucks that forced Interstate Highway 35 southbound and northbound to close near Ames, authorities said. 

The crash had traffic backed up on the highway so far that Story County sheriff’s Capt. Barry Thomas said he could not see from one end to the other. Officials on scene, which included numerous fire and police agencies, were trying Monday afternoon to clear the roadway; those injured have received medical attention.

Three to five people who were seriously injured were rushed to nearby hospitals, Thomas said. Officials did not know the age or sex of the person who was killed. State Patrol responded to three separate crash scenes nearby, Ritzman said. 

The road remained closed Monday afternoon between 13th Street and U.S. 30 in Ames near 116 milepost, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation. It was the largest crash throughout the state Monday, Ludwig said. 

While the crashes happened in the southbound lanes, the northbound lanes were closed to give emergency vehicles access to people. The lanes were still closed as of 4:37 p.m. Monday.

“It’s a mess,” Ludwig said. “They’re trying to get everyone to slow down.”


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In a third crash that was suspected to be weather related, a person was killed at about 1:20 p.m. on I-80 near mile marker 191 just east of Grinnell in Poweshiek County, Ritzman said. State Patrol responded to a secondary collision nearby, though few other details were immediately available. 

Ludwig did not know how many crashes there had been as of 2:45 p.m. State Patrol plans to release more information on the number of crashes and injuries Monday night. 

Check back for updates. 



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