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Cause Of Sioux Falls Crash Undetermined

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(Photo Courtesy of Pat Heinen)

A confusing tragedy will remain unsolved. The South Dakota Highway Patrol revealed in a release on Tuesday that it has been unable to determine the cause of a February 23 crash on Interstate 90 that killed four members of a Sioux Falls family.

James Arthur Vollmer, 52, of Sioux Falls was driving a 2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac that drifted off the interstate into the median and crashed shortly after 5 p.m. that day. Killed with Vollmer were his wife Julie, 48; daughter Allysa, 16, and son Caleb, 13.

The crash happened one mile west of Sioux Falls at mile marker 394. All four occupants were wearing seatbelts.

An autopsy found no evidence of a medical problem or condition that could have contributed to the crash, said Capt. Kevin Joffer of the Highway Patrol’s Sioux Falls district office. A mechanic who examined the vehicle found no evidence of a mechanical failure or problem, Joffer said.

Toxicology reports showed no evidence of drug or alcohol use, and the investigation found no evidence of any adverse weather or roadway conditions, any animals or any other vehicle involvement that could have caused or contributed to the crash, he said.

There was no evidence of texting or cell-phone use, and witness statements indicate the Vollmer vehicle was traveling at about the same speed as other vehicles on the interstate.

“At this point, we are unable to say what caused this tragic crash,’’ Joffer said. “We have conducted a thorough investigation. If additional leads are developed, we will investigate them just as thoroughly. We understand that family members, friends and others in the community have many questions that we have been unable to answer. We join with the rest of the community in expressing our sorrow at the loss of this family.’’


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