July 9, 2010
Crash closes I-90
Sioux Falls, South Dakota Argus Leader
Interstate 90 is back open after a two-vehicle crash this morning west of the Salem exit closed it for about five hours.
The crash happened about 9 a.m. when Ronald Scott Jessop, 25, of Washington, Utah, fell asleep at the wheel of a 2005 Kenworth semi-truck, the South Dakota Department of Safety said in a release.
The Kenworth struck the rear of a Ford Explorer being towed by a 1999 Air Stream Cutter driven by Betty A. Sullivan, 73, of Wichita, Kan.
The Explorer went into the south ditch. The Air Stream entered the center median and rolled, while the Kenworth entered the south ditch and rolled.
Sullivan suffered minor injuries. A passenger in the Air Stream, 74-year-old Leonard Sullivan, suffered serious but nonlife-threatening injuries. Both were transported to Sanford in Sioux Falls. Jessop was uninjured. All occupants were wearing seatbelts.
Jessop was taken into custody and charged with careless driving and driving with a suspended commercial driver's license.
Interstate traffic was rerouted north to Highway 38 while the crash site was cleared. The interstate was re-opened shortly after 4 p.m.
The Kenworth carried a load of about 25 blocks of cheese, with an estimated weight of 700 pounds per block.
Kansas Couple Speaks Out About Crash
By Courtney Zieller
Published: July 9, 2010, 5:57 PM
SIOUX FALLS, SD - A Kansas couple was on their way to Illinois when they were hit by a semi on Interstate 90 Thursday. Just after the driver, Betty Sullivan, was released from the hospital Friday afternoon, she went to see what's left of her RV and save any belongings. She says this whole experience has been eye-opening.
It all happened in the blink of an eye.
"The semi apparently came up behind me really fast and hit the back of my car. I felt the hit and next thing I know is that I'm being forced across the passing lane and into the median," Betty said.
Betty says that's when she lost control of the RV. But after 10 years of driving one, she says she knows what she's doing.
"I felt like, 'Oh dear. I'm a woman; they'll think it was my driving.' It was not my driving. It was the semi that hit me and I had no control," Betty said.
The 73 year old wasn't alone. Her husband, Leonard, was in the passenger seat because he had a broken foot. But it was something she did before she pulled onto the interstate that she says saved her life.
"Thank goodness for the seat belt and that's a good reminder for people to wear their seat belt all the time because you never know when something like this will come up," Betty said.
But Betty doesn't remember whether her husband, Leonard, did the same.
"I suspect he'd gotten up to reach for a map or something and that's my suspicion. I don't know that for sure but I think my seat belt gave way at some point before I stopped and his may have broken," Betty said.
Leonard was thrown from the RV and is still in hospital with a broken pelvis. Even officials say that's amazing considering what they were up against.
And while Betty will never forget this trip through South Dakota, she feels blessed to be able to tell her story.
"I feel extremely lucky. I've told so many people God's angels were with me," Betty said.
The couple has been retired for 10 years. Betty was a nursing professor and Leonard was a pediatrician in Wichita. Betty says the accident isn't stopping them from traveling again.