2 fatal crashes in separate IA counties, Saturday


May 31st, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Two people died in separate Iowa crashes Saturday, in Warren and Mahaska Counties. The Iowa State Patrol reports a crash near the Warren/Marion County line claimed the life of a Knoxville man. Authorities say 2010 Harley Davidson motorcycle operated by 48-year old Gary Eugene Bender was traveling north on Highway 316 north of Cleveland Street and navigating a curve to the left, when the cycle left a portion of the road to the right, and overturned. Bender was thrown from the motorcycle into a tree. He died at the scene. The accident happened at around 2:53-p.m., Saturday.

A Fresno, California man is dead after a vehicle pursuit in southeast Iowa. Authorities say at around 5:10-a.m. Saturday, the Mahaska County Dispatch Center received a complaint of a vehicle traveling westbound at a high rate of speed, in the eastbound lane of Highway 163, between Oskaloosa and Pella. Not long afterward, Marion County Dispatch received a similar report. A Marion County deputy located the vehicle, a 2005 Mitsubishi passenger car, and made a traffic stop near Otley, Iowa on Highway 163. After the deputy stopped the vehicle and made contact with the driver, the driver then placed the vehicle in gear and sped off, resulting in the pursuit.

Near the intersection of Highway 163 and Eaton Avenue, in Mahaska County, the driver lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle then rolled several times, struck a building and the driver was ejected. The person died from their injuries. The man’s identity is being withheld by authorities, pending notification of family.

The incident remains under investigation.