SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — We’re learning new details about the crash on Interstate 229 that killed three people.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol says around 5:30 Thursday evening, a car left the road, struck a tree and then caught on fire. The 22-year-old driver, along with two passengers died at the scene.
While the cause of the crash remains under investigation, local law enforcement says this is a good reminder of how quickly tragedy can strike on a busy interstate.
Evening rush hour drivers slowly pass the grim site of a deadly crash on Interstate 229.
“Anytime you have a fatality in a traffic accident, it’s a tragic thing, but when you have three fatalities on a traffic accident, that’s a pretty tough scene,” Lt. Andrew Siebenborn of the Sioux Falls Police Department said.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol is looking into why the car left the interstate and crashed into a tree before catching fire. First-responders have shut down traffic at other crashes on I-229, including this one just three weeks earlier, when the driver of a semi was hurt after crashing into a pickup that had stopped in the middle of the road.
“Luckily there was a very experienced truck driver on the road at that time, at that moment,” crash victim’s daughter Irina Kleinsasser said on July 2nd.
KELOLAND News has been on the scene of several crashes on I-229 through the years. They’ve occurred both day and night; on dry pavement as well as icy conditions. While the causes vary from crash-to-crash, drivers always need to be aware of what’s approaching.
“You do run into that area where speeds start to differ a little bit there. By 26th Street, when you go over it, where it goes from 65 to 55, you start getting some curves,” Siebenborn said.
Police say as the city grows and interstates get more congested, drivers need to be all the more cautious to prevent future tragedies on the road.
Police say bystanders helped first-responders at the scene of Thursday’s crash.