Accidents Claim 3 Lives In County

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A Fourth Crash Involves Malvern School Van

By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

A pair of single-vehicle accidents early Sunday morning has left two dead on Mills County roads. The mishaps occurred just four days after an accident on Interstate 29 in western Mills County claimed the life of a Sidney woman.


Sunday’s first accident occurred just after 1 a.m. when Darin Fuhrman 44, of Mound City, Mo., lost control of his vehicle near the intersection of 196th and Brohard Avenue in northern Mills County and rolled in the north ditch, according to a report from the Mills County Sheriff’s Office.

Fuhrman who was not wearing a seatbelt, was partially ejected from the vehicle during the rollover. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Fuhrman’s body was transported to the Douglas County Coroner’s Office in Omaha for an autopsy.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Approximately an hour after Fuhrman’s accident, the Iowa State Patrol responded to a one-vehicle accident on northbound 315th Street north of Highway 34 near Malvern. The driver of that vehicle, Matthew Buckner, 22, of Malvern, lost control of his vehicle, entered the east ditch and rolled several times before coming to rest on its side, according to a state patrol report.

The Malvern Rescue unit required the jaws of life to free Buckner from the vehicle. Buckner, who was not wearing his seatbelt, was taken by ambulance to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha where he later died.

Sunday’s two motor-vehicle deaths follow a pair of serious accidents last Wednesday that left one driver dead and a passenger in a separate accident transported by medical helicopter to an Omaha hospital.

Michale J. Mattes, 66, of Sidney was pronounced dead at the scene of an accident in a construction zone on I-29 after the vehicle she was driving left the roadway and collided with a Caterpillar road-milling machine shortly after 5 p.m.

According to Iowa State Patrol investigators, Mattes was southbound on I-29 near the 40-mile marker at about 5:10 p.m. when her 2004 Hyundai left the the roadway for unknown reasons. Mattes was not wearing a seatbelt.

A fourth serious accident occurred Wednesday at approximately 3:50 p.m. when a Malvern School District mini-van, driven by Janine Herrick of Tabor, headed east on Highway 34, collided with a southbound vehicle driven by Hannah Middleton, 17, of Glenwood, which was attempting to cross Highway 34 on Kidd Road.

Middleton’s vehicle rolled at least once before coming to rest in the eastbound ditch under a stop sign.

Daniel Middleton, 11, a backseat passenger in Hannah Middleton’s vehicle, was transported by medical helicopter to Creighton University Medical Center with multiple injuries including facial lacerations and a possible fractured jaw. He was treated and later released.

Hannah Middleton and a third occupant of the vehicle were not hurt.

Herrick, who was hauling five East Mills High School students in her vehicle, was taken by ambulance to Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs after complaining of chest pain. None of the students in the van were seriously injured.

Middleton will be ticketed for failure to yield, said Mills County Sheriff’s Deputy Evan York.