By Julie Ann Madden
A driver “appeared to be dead” as his van collided with a semi tractor-trailer about 12:10 p.m., May 14 on Iowa Highway 12, south of Westfield.
This was the second vehicle the van struck before it came to a stop.
According to Plymouth County sheriff’s reports, Samuel Orozco, 24, of Sioux City, was northbound in his 1993 Chevrolet van on Iowa Highway 12, just south of 314th Street which is south of County Road K-18 South, when he first crossed the center line and side-swiped a southbound 2008 Honda Ridgeline driven by Patricia Krimmel, 57, of Akron.
Orozco continued driving north, crossing the center line a second time, and striking the left front and side of a 2005 Peterbilt semi tractor trailer driven by Scott Duane Klemme, 58, of Akron.
Although Klemme told a sheriff’s deputy, Orozco appeared to be dead as his vehicle crossed the center line toward his semi, Orozco was alive, just slumped over in the driver’s seat when authorities arrived on the scene. He was transported by Akron Ambulance Service to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.
Klemme and Krimmel were uninjured. The Peterbilt received about $5,000 in damages and the van received $2,500.
Orozco was issued citations for driving on the wrong side of a two-way highway and violation of financial liability insurance (having no insurance).
The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Akron Fire & Rescue Department and Akron Ambulance Service.