On June 5, 2022 at around 4:50am, the DCSO responded to a single vehicle personal injury accident in the 2500 block of Highway 9/71.

Joseph Applegate (43), of Estherville, was driving a 2007 GMC Yukon eastbound on Highway 9/71 when he fell asleep behind the wheel.  The vehicle entered the south ditch striking the Wheatley Plumbing & Heating sign, a tree, and came to rest in a grove.

Applegate was suspected of sustaining minor or non-incapacitating injuries.  The vehicle was considered a total loss.

The DCSO was assisted by the Spirit Lake Police Department, Spirit Lake First Responders, Lakes Regional Healthcare Ambulance, and Boji Tow.

On May 31, 2022 at around 9:25pm, the DCSO responded to a rollover accident in the 2400 block of 190th Street.

A 16 year old male, of Wallingford, was eastbound on 190th Street, driving a 2005 Chevrolet Uplander.  The driver looked at his phone and then passenger side of the vehicle entered the shoulder portion of the roadway.  The driver then panicked and overcorrected, losing control of the vehicle.  The vehicle then entered the south ditch, rolled, and came to rest on the driver’s side.  The driver was momentarily trapped inside.  Law enforcement was able to get the driver out of the vehicle.

The driver sustained minor or non-incapacitating injuries and was cited for failure to maintain control.  The vehicle was considered a total loss.

The DCSO was assisted by the Arnolds Park Police Department, Okoboji Police Department, Milford Police Department, Lakes Regional Healthcare Ambulance, and Boji Tow.

With an uncertain history, April 20th (more commonly known as 4/20) has become synonymous with marijuana use and, in some circles, the date is a marijuana “holiday.” To help keep drug-impaired drivers off the roads, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) are teaming with State, county and local law enforcement to spread the message that drug-impaired driving of any kind is dangerous and illegal. Drivers will see extra enforcement between April 19th and April 22nd to combat impaired driving.
Like drunk driving, drug-impaired driving is illegal nationwide. According to NHTSA, between 2009 and 2018, of those drivers killed in crashes and tested for marijuana, the presence of marijuana had nearly doubled. In 2018, 46% of drivers who were killed in crashes and were tested for drugs, tested positive. This is why it’s so important to spread this lifesaving message: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Do you think driving while high isn’t dangerous? It has been proven that THC can slow reaction times, impair cognitive performance, and make it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane.
Those who plan to use marijuana on 4/20 should have a plan in place and refrain from driving. Here are a few tips to help keep everyone safe:
• If you have used an impairing substance such as marijuana, do not drive. Passengers should never ride with an impaired driver. If you think a driver may be impaired, do not get in the car.
• If you are drug-impaired, pass the keys to a sober driver who can safely drive to the destination. It is never okay to drive while impaired by any substance.
• Do you have a friend who is about to drive while impaired by drugs? Take the keys away and arrange to get them home safely. Don’t worry about offending someone — they’ll thank you later.
By working together, we can save lives and help keep America’s roadways safe. Share the lifesaving message, If you feel different, you drive different.
Media contact: Amanda Woods, GTSB Program Administrator (515) 725-6127.