The stories of seven individuals and a family collided violently on a busy South Dakota road on Valentine’s Day. The seven-car crash that occurred at the intersection of 41st street and Minnesota Avenue sent vehicles spinning into traffic and flipping into a parking lot. When all the vehicles finally came to rest one was dead and seven were injured.
Stephen Wolf was just leaving the Dollar Tree with his wife and three children when he drove up to the intersection in his mother’s Dodge Durango. It was just before noon. In front of the Wolf family was Tyler Sorlie, who was on his way to the floral shop to get a bouquet for his wife to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Sorlie was sitting in his Chevy 1500 pickup. In front of Sorlie was Monica Williams, who was driving her taxicab. Not far behind the Wolf family was Clyde Hinrickson in his Ford Ranger. He was headed to the same Dollar Tree that the Wolfs had just left to find out when his wife would be done working. He sat in the left-hand turn lane on Minnesota Avenue. Mike Klinedinst, assistant principal at Lincoln High School, was driving east on 41st Street in his Ford F-150. He was heading back to his office after picking up lunch. Bill Morrill was in his Chevy Venture van next to Klinedinst. Morrill had just left the Ace Hardware store on 41st Street.
Thirty-two-year-old Troy Hohn, an Army veteran, came barreling down Minnesota Avenue in his green Chevy Blazer. As he approached the 41st Avenue intersection he sped past Hinrickson’s truck, causing it to shake. Hohn swerved to avoid hitting Hinrickson, but was unable to avoid contact with the Wolf family in the Durango. Hohn slammed into the Durango so hard that it caused a chain reaction. The Durango slammed forward into Sorlie’s pickup truck, which was forced into Williams’ taxicab. Williams was pushed into the intersection and crashed into Klinedinst’s truck as it crossed the intersection. Klinedinst’s truck then struck Morrill’s van, crumpling its side door and shattering a window. Hinrickson watched as Hohn’s Blazer hopped the curb after hitting the Durango, plowed into a sign at a local store, flipped through the air, and came to rest on top of another vehicle.
Stories converge in fatal South Dakota crash, www.palmbeachpost.com February 28, 2013
Sorlie cannot remember the accident because it caused his head to slam against his back window. He does not remember being assisted out of his vehicle, but he does remember seeing Stephen Wolf stumbling through the street with his forehead bloodied from a gash. He also remembers hearing children crying. Wolf’s six-year-old daughter was rolled away on a gurney as she cried out for her mother, who was still restrained inside the Durango. Stephen Wolf does not remember anything until he woke up at Avera McKennan Hospital. Klinedinst and Morrill both pulled over and walked to Hohn’s vehicle. Klinedinst said that when he looked inside Hohn’s Blazer he realized he was already deceased. Investigators are still tracing Hohn’s steps to that intersection that day. Blood test results have not yet been released.
Everyone except Morrill and Klinedinst went to the hospital. Sorlie was given a CT scan, which came back clean. However, his neck and shoulder were so sore for the first few days after the accident that he could hardly move. He still cannot lift his right arm up past his shoulder. The frame on his Chevy pickup truck had bent six to eight inches, which amazed Sorlie because he was not the first one hit in the crash. The Wolf family went to separate hospitals. Stephen’s wife suffered a broken shoulder and spine, which required two surgeries, and will require continued physical therapy. His six-year-old daughter spent two nights in the hospital because doctors were concerned about bleeding on her brain. The other two children in the vehicle suffered scrapes and scratches. Stephen suffered a slipped disc in his back and cracked ribs. The Durango where the Wolf family sat during the accident is now coated in blood and the third row seat no longer exists.
Seven people are now suffering from devastating injuries. As Stephen Wolf stated, it is surprising that more lives were not lost in this horrific accident. The Friedland | Carmona’s automobile accident lawyers understand the pain and frustration that arises after accidents like the one that occurred in South Dakota. Jonathan Friedland and Michael Carmona are experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys who know how to fight for you and your family to ensure that you receive the most amount of compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call an experienced trial attorney today at (305) 661-2008 for your free consultation.
The Miami insurance litigation lawyers at the Friedland | Carmona handle all types of personal injury accidents throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland | Carmona handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective products, medical malpractice, slip and falls and construction site injuries. Call today and let our family take care of your family!