A recent Vermillion High School (VHS) graduate, another area resident and a 3-year-old were seriously injured when their vehicle was struck by a semi-truck on the afternoon of May 13. The incident occurred along Highway 50 just outside of Gayville, a city that's located 68 miles to the southeast of Sioux Falls.
The Yankton County Sheriff's Office (YCSO) first started receiving calls about an accident that had occurred nearby the intersection of Highway 50 and 451st Avenue early that afternoon. When they arrived at the crash scene, they found a mangled sedan and an 18-wheeler.
Witnesses who were interviewed recounted seeing the tractor-trailer leave the Ma & Pa's C Store parking lot right before the incident occurred. They then saw the trucker attempt to turn east onto Highway 50. Soon thereafter, he collided with the passenger car that had been traveling in the opposite direction.
The passenger car slid under the tractor-trailer as the truck and car made contact. The twisted frame of the vehicle ended up in a nearby ditch with a badly damaged roof and busted out windows. A portion of Hwy. 50 remained closed for the afternoon as the South Dakota Highway Patrol (SDHP) assisted the YCSO with their investigation into the crash.
Police have identified the occupants of the passenger vehicle as a Vermillion woman, a 3-year-old child and a VHS Class of 2019 male graduate. All three were transported to Avera Sacred Heart Hospital with undisclosed serious injuries on the day of the crash.
The day following the incident, Vermillion School District officials notified parents of the incident via their automated school messenger system. They acknowledged that a student, who'd graduated from VHS just two days prior had been involved in a serious automobile accident.
They noted that they'd make school counselors available to any faculty, staff or students struggling to process what had happened. They also asked for everyone to send their positive thoughts and prayers to the victims.
Tractor-trailers weigh significantly more than passenger cars. This is one of the many reasons that crashes involving semi-trucks and other types of automobiles tend to result in individuals being seriously hurt or killed.
Individuals who've suffered head, brain, spinal cord or other permanently disabling or disfiguring injuries should consult with an attorney. They can advise them of their right to compensation for the long-term care that they're going to need.