A Polk County woman died during a crash in a construction zone on Interstate 80 Sunday afternoon, in Cass County. The accident happened at around 3:40-p.m. near the Marne exit. Iowa State Patrol says 26-year old Christina Franz, of Bondurant, who was the driver of the car, died at the scene. Her brother, 24-year old Trevor Franz, also of Bondurant, was a passenger in the car. He was injured and transported by ambulance to the Cass County Memorial Hospital, in Atlantic. Both occupants were wearing their seat belts.
Authorities say the pair was traveling westbound in the left lane on I-80 in a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am, when they came upon a 2000 Kenworth semi driven by 36-year old Jody Baker, of Buho, ID, that was stopped in the left lane due to traffic merging in the lane in a construction zone.The car rear-ended the trailer of the semi before veering off and hitting a 2000 Chrysler mini-van van that was stopped in the right lane. The driver of the van was identified as 41-year old Derrick Burbul, of Kearney, NE. Following the collision, the Pontiac came to rest in the right lane, on the interstate. Neither of the other two drivers was injured.
Following the accident, traffic was backed up for miles along I-80 westbound. The DOT began re-routing vehicles north on Highway 71 to Highway 44 west to Harlan before bringing them south on Highway 59 to I-80. The westbound lanes were re-opened at around 6-p.m.
The crash was one of three that occurred on I-80 Sunday afternoon. In one accident, two women were sent to Myrtue Memorial Hospital in Harlan following a collision between two SUV’s on I-80 eastbound near the Avoca exit. Sheriff Jeff Danker said their injuries appeared to be minor. The third accident took place just a couple of hundred yards away from the SUV collision. Additional details on those two crashes are currently not available.