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Amber Alert

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fog blamed for another fatality in Iowa

Dense fog is being blamed for another traffic death on Monday afternoon. Verdeen Tschirgi, 74, of Elkader, Iowa, died in an accident on U.S. 13 in Clayton County, near Chicken Ridge Road, at about 2:45 p.m., according to the Iowa State Patrol.

At about the same time, dense fog caused a multi-vehicle pileup on U.S. 20 near Epworth, Iowa, which resulted in the death of Scott Nelson, 42, of Guttenberg, Iowa.

Tschirgi is believed to have pulled out from the stop sign at Chicken Ridge Road onto U.S. 13, directly in front of a semi-tractor trailer driven by Steven Krogmann, 59, of Manchester, Iowa, according to the Iowa State Patrol. Tschirgi was transported to the Elkader hospital, but he later died.

The state patrol noted that visibility "was very limited due to dense fog," during the time of the accident. The National Weather Service had issued a dense fog advisory for the area.

Dense fog also was blamed for the accident that claimed the life of Nelson and sent Lance Weipert, of Dubuque, to the hospital. On Tuesday, hospital officials at Mercy Medical Center - Dubuque said they no longer had records of Weipert as a patient.A subsequent accident also was reported on U.S. 20 as a result of the fatal accident, according to an Iowa State Trooper. Three individuals were sent to the hospital with injuries that were assumed to be minor by the state patrol. A dozen fender benders were also reported by various law enforcement officials.

Accidents began occurring in Dubuque County on Sunday related to the fog and continued through Tuesday in Clayton County.

All of the reported injury accidents involving fog in the past three days also have involved semis.

On Tuesday, Clayton County Sheriff's deputy Shawn Boeke reported fog was icing to the roads. This, and low visibility, is believed to be responsible for an accident on Great River Road Tuesday morning, in which a vehicle was unable to slow down for a semi that had turned into the same lane to head in the same direction, according to the Clayton County Sheriff's Department.

The driver of the vehicle that hit the semi, Shannon N. Landt, 23, of Garnavillo, Iowa, was sent to the Memorial Hospital in Prairie Du Chien, Wis., with chest and leg injuries, according to the Sheriff's Department. The hospital would not disclose if Landt was a patient Tuesday night.

At around 8 a.m., a vehicle driven by Landt was unable to slow down for a semi driven by Michael L. Oberbroeckling, 52, of Garnavillo, that had turned from a farm driveway into the same lane as Landt's vehicle.

Landt's car suffered about $12,000 worth of damage and was declared "totaled," according to the Sheriff's Department. Authorities said the semi was hit on its double tires during a sharp right turn and sustained about $5,000 in disabling damage.

On Sunday afternoon, a vehicle collided with a semi in dense fog on U.S. 61, injuring two people, according to the Dubuque County Sheriff's Department. Source