One Killed After Rear-Ending Farm Equipment; Trooper Responding to Crash Nearly Hit by Semi

JASPER COUNTY, Iowa – One person was killed in an accident Monday morning near Monroe after rear-ending some farm machinery. A State Trooper conducting traffic at the scene also narrowly missed being hit by a semi, but his patrol vehicle wasn’t as lucky.

The initial accident happened around 8:00 a.m. on Highway 163, northwest of Monroe. Sgt. Nate Ludwig with the Iowa State Patrol says an eastbound van rear-ended a pickup truck that was towing farm machinery. After the collision, the van went into the ditch and caught fire. The driver of the vehicle, 50-year-old Rex Lynn Chickering of Prairie City, was still inside and was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured in the crash.

“We just posted something to our facebook page on Friday about farming equipment being on the roads this time of year," said Sgt. Ludwig. "And people just always need to pay attention, but especially this time of year, because there’s slow moving vehicles on the roadway...put your phone down, look down the road, don’t look right where you’re at when your driving.”

About an hour and a half after the accident, the vehicle of an Iowa State Trooper that responded to the crash was hit by a semi.

Sgt. Ludwig says the trooper’s vehicle was off on the side of the road as he conducted traffic to a detour around the accident. The trooper noticed a semi-truck heading toward him and heard the vehicle’s tires hitting the rumble strips on the side of the road. The semi failed to slow down as it approached and the trooper was able to jump out of the way and into the ditch, before the semi hit the patrol vehicle.

The trooper was not injured.

“He’s fine," said Sgt. Ludwig. "I mean, he just took off. His heart rate got up a little bit but, he’s fine now. I mean, but you look at the vehicle and imagine that had he been sitting inside of his car, it might be a different story..."

The incident remains under investigation. Sgt. Ludwig says the semi driver was likely distracted. Charges are pending,