BY CRAIG WENZEL – TRUE DAKOTAN EDITOR
A former Wessington Springs High School faculty member and wrestling coach was seriously injured in a two-vehicle accident a mile east of Lane last week.
A motorcycle being ridden by Merivale Waldow (68), of Wessington Springs, collided with a trailer being pulled by a truck driven by Joseph Hjelm, 21, of Woonsocket on SD Highway 34 at about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday night, September 28. The truck had slowed to make a turn when Waldow’s 2007 Harley Davidson hit the rear end.
The accident was investigated by Jerauld County Sheriff’s Department personnel Sheriff Roger Thompson and deputy Mike Krueger along with the South Dakota Highway Patrol.
Waldow was transported by the Jerauld County Ambulance and was later air lifted from Mitchell to a Sioux Falls medical center.
Waldow was seriously injured including head injuries. His current condition is not known. He was not wearing a helmet.
Hjelm was wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident.
A riding companion, Herman Eilers, Wessington Springs, told police that visibility was difficult at the time of the accident due to the low sun in the western sky.
It was the second serious motorcycle/truck accident in the Lane area this year. A similar crash south of the US 281/SD 34 intersection near Lane took the life of a Missouri man earlier this summer.