A two-vehicle crash involving an Illinois Army National Guard unit and a civilian semi-truck occurred yesterday morning, June 19, at the intersection of State Highway 37 and National Guard Road on the outskirts of Mitchell.
The crash happened at approximately 7:15 a.m., in the north city limits. The civilian vehicle involved was a 2013 Peterbilt semi truck/tanker trailer, owned by POET from Scotland, S.D. The driver, a 64-year-old male, was wearing a seatbelt. After the crash, he was transported to the Mitchell hospital. It was reported that he had received serious non-life-threatening injuries.
The semi-truck/tanker trailer was northbound on Highway 37. The tanker was loaded with liquid carbon dioxide.
The second vehicle, a 2013 Oshkosh LMTV-Military cargo vehicle, was an Illinois National Guard truck. The driver was 27-year-old Krystal Vazquez, of Cicero, Illinois. She was wearing a seatbelt. She, also, was transported to the Mitchell hospital, and was also reported to have received serious non-life-threatening injuries.
A passenger in the military vehicle, a 26-year-old male, was wearing a seatbelt. He was also transported to the Mitchell hospital, and reported to have received serious non-life-threatening injuries.
The two soldiers are from the 1244th Transportation Company based in North Riverside, Illinois. The National Guard unit was returning home to Illinois after training in the Black Hills during the Golden Coyote training exercise. The military cargo vehicle was part of an Illinois National Guard convoy leaving the local National Guard armory en route to Illinois
Because of Marsy’s Law, only the name of the person being cited, the driver of the military vehicle, is being released at this time.
The military vehicle was eastbound on National Guard Road and stopped at the stop sign. It traveled across both southbound lanes of SD Highway 37, through the center median approach and into the path of the semi truck. The civilian semi had the right of way. The civilian semi collided with the passenger side of the military vehicle. Both vehicles left the roadway to the right and entered the east ditch. Both the military vehicle and tanker trailer rolled onto their tops. The semi truck stayed upright. The tanker trailer was not breached. Shortly after the ambulance and other emergency responder crew were done, towing of the two vehicles and the trailer began.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating. Information was supplied by Anthony Deiss, South Dakota National Guard public affairs office, and by the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.