MITCHELL, SD -Two people are dead and a child is in the hospital after a head-on collision about 4 miles south of Mitchell along Highway37. The crash happened just before 4:30 yesterday afternoon. – A 2006 Saturn Van, that was driven by 23 year-old Sarah Ann Claggett of Tripp, was driving south and apparently drifted into the northbound lane where it collided with a 2004 GMC pickup, driven by 82-year –old Donald Geidel of Dimock. Both vehicles burned. Neither driver was wearing a seat belt and both died at the scene.
Authorities say Brandon Sandoz, a 19-year-old MTI student from Valentine Nebraska, was riding with two friends 18-year old Corey Ramold, of O’Neill, Neb., and Sandoz’s girlfriend, 20-year –old Abby Albin of Emery. They arrived at the scene before emergency crews where Sandoz used his knife to cut the seat belt and pull 2-year-old Lauryn Rene Claggett, from the burning van. She was then air-lifted to a Sioux Falls hospital, where her condition is unknown at this time.
South Dakota Highway Patrol Investigators noted that there were not a whole lot of tire marks on the highway prior to the crash. They are still trying to determine if alcohol or high speeds played a role in the crash. The Davison County Sheriff’s Office, Mitchell Fire Department and Ethan Fire Department all responded to the accident.