Two people were injured during an accident Thursday afternoon about two-miles north of the intersection of Highways 34 and 71, in Montgomery County. The Sheriff’s Department says the driver of a 1999 Chrysler Town and Country mini-van, 29-year old Amanda L. Johnson, of Shenandoah, was transported by helicopter to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, following the crash. A passenger in the vehicle, 4-year old Havyn E. Johnson, received treatment at the scene for minor injuries. Neither of the occupants were using a seat belt.
Officials say the van was northbound on Highway 71 just before 4-p.m., when for reasons unknown, it crossed the centerline and left the road across the west shoulder before entering a ditch. The van traveled for about 400-feet in the ditch until it hit a depression in the ditch, the impact of which caused the van to become airborne for about 25-feet. It crashed into the ground, hitting a rise in the terrain, resulting in the left front wheel to be shoved back about 9-inches from its original position.
The van continued to travel for about 335-feet before coming to rest in a field to the west of Highway 71. Authorities say while Johnson may have suffered from a medical condition that caused her to lose control of the van, the accident remains under investigation.
Sheriff’s deputies were assisted at the scene by the Iowa State Patrol, Villisca Fire and Rescue, Red Oak Rescue, and Grant Fire.