Potential tragedy averted

Marshall County sheriff’s deputy pulls over same driver for going 95 mph a second time

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO A Marshall County sheriff’s deputy stopped this vehicle going 95 mph along Highway 30 on Feb. 6. The roadway was roughly 75 percent snow and ice covered as of result of the previous day’s wintry weather. Ten days later — this past Friday — the same driver was again traveling along Highway 30 going 95 mph and for a second time, and again was pulled over by a Marshall County sheriff’s deputy.

The second time will not be a charm if the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office has anything to say about it.

A driver who was pulled over nearly two weeks ago by a sheriff’s deputy for driving 95 mph along Highway 30, was stopped again this past Friday for operating his car at the same high rate of speed along the same stretch of roadway.

During the morning hours on Feb. 6, the driver — an Iowa State University student from Marion and driving westbound — was stopped by a sheriff’s deputy for traveling at that high rate of speed along a snow and ice-covered highway — remnants from the previous day’s wintry weather in which eight people lost their lives on Iowa roadways. It was, an official said, a good example “of dangerous behavior that contributes to preventable crashes.”

Ten days later, this time in the afternoon, that driver again demonstrated the same “reckless” behavior.

“Some drivers are slow to learn,” Marshall County Sheriff Steve Hoffman said in an interview with the Times-Republican. “We cannot emphasize enough just how dangerous and reckless this type of driving can be. Our deputies are working hard to address dangerous drivers and pulling over those drivers who disregard the rules of the road.”

Hoffman said “exceeding the posted limit along a highway is not only dangerous to the offending driver, but to other drivers who are sharing the road. Consider that the highway has vehicles of varying speeds, perhaps slow-moving vehicles, and intersections nearly every mile, this type of driving behavior easily could have led to a tragic ending.”

In both incidents, the driver was pulled over by members of the MCSO’s Traffic Safety Unit, which was reinstated last year shortly after Hoffman was sworn in as sheriff.

As to the driver, Hoffman said he was fined $267.50 for each speeding violation. Both offenses, the sheriff said, may very well lead to his driver’s license being suspended by the Iowa Department of Transportation.

For more information about how Hoffman and the MCSO’s Traffic Safety Unit are working to improve traffic safety and reduce accidents and traffic fatalities, go to: www.timesrepublican.com/news/todays-news/2018/02/personal-pledge

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Contact Jeff Hutton at 641-753-6611 or jhutton@timesrepublican.com