Close call

Pickup collides with semi that ran a red light

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Fort Dodge firefighters spread peat moss on leaking engine fluids Wednesday afternoon at the scene of a three-vehicle accident at Kenyon Road and U.S. Highway 169. A passenger in the pickup truck was transported with minor injuries. The pickup was struck by a semi.

The driver and passenger in a 2011 Dodge Ram pickup truck narrowly escaped serious injury Wednesday when their vehicle was struck by a semitrailer at the intersection of Kenyon Road and U.S. Highway 169.

Fort Dodge police Sgt. Zach Stanley said the 11:54 a.m. accident occurred when a semi traveling north on Highway 169 being driven by Gene Thelke, 62, of Dows, ran a red light.

The pickup, being driven west on Kenyon Road by Clifford Tharp, 58, of Garrison, was hit by the truck when he attempted to drive through the intersection. Tharp’s truck struck the passenger side drive wheels of the tractor. Tharp was not injured.

A passenger in Tharp’s truck, Donald McNeal, 59, of Mount Auburn, received minor facial injuries, according to Stanley. He was transported to UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center by Fort Dodge Fire Department ambulance.

A third vehicle, a 2019 Lexus being driven by Nicholas Townley, 35, of Omaha, Nebraska, was hit by Tharp’s truck as a result of its collision with the semi. Townley and his four passengers were not injured.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
A pickup truck that was struck by a semi Wednesday afternoon awaits a tow truck at the intersection of U.S. Highway 169 and Kenyon Road. The passenger of the truck received non-life-threatening injuries.

The accident destroyed the front of Tharp’s truck, scattering debris about 100 feet along the road.

The semi was unable to come to a complete stop until it reached the intersection of Avenue O, a distance of several hundred yards. It had damage to the tractors’ rear wheels.

Stanley said Thelke was cited for failure to obey a stop sign or signal. He was not injured.

The Fort Dodge Police and Fort Dodge Fire Department responded to the accident.