MITCHELL, S.D. (KELO) — A crash north of Mitchell early this morning has hospitalized two soldiers from the Illinois National Guard and a semi-truck driver. The three are facing serious, non-life-threatening injuries. Charges are pending against the driver, Krystal Vazquez, 27, of Cicero, Illinois, who was driving the Military Cargo vehicle.
According to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, the driver of the military vehicle was heading east on National Guard Road and stopped at the stop sign before crossing the southbound lanes and the center median approach of Highway 37. The semi, which had the right of way, hit the military vehicle crossing the highway.
The semi was carrying liquid carbon dioxide.
“It’s completely contained, we did not lose any liquid out of the tanker,” Davison County emergency manager, Jeff Bathke said.
The semi collided with the passenger side of the military vehicle. Both vehicles ended up in the ditch.
“The rest of the convoy were the first responders so they were able to get the two from the National Guard truck out and rendered first aid to them,” Bathke said. “The driver in the POET truck had to be removed by EMS because of the containment of the vehicle.”
Several agencies responded, and crews were on scene for several hours.
The crash caused parts of Highway 37 to be closed while the scene was cleared.
“You look at the impact at 65 miles per hour of two trucks, we’re lucky we did not have the tanker rupture, the amount of fuel that spilled is very little,” Bathke said.
POET officials say they will be following up on the crash.
The Illinois National Guard says the military members are from a unit out of North Riverside near Chicago. The unit was returning from Golden Coyote training in western South Dakota.