SDDOT looks into I-229 safety following fatal car crash

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 7:00 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Three people are dead after a single-vehicle crash in Sioux Falls. It happened Thursday evening on Interstate 229 between the Cliff and 26th Street exits.

This is not the first accident on the interstate near that area.

According to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, there were six accidents last year at the interchange area of Interstate 229 and Cliff. In 2019 that number was 17.

In a statement from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, preliminary information on Thursday’s crash shows a vehicle was northbound on Interstate 229. The car then left the roadway, hit a tree, and caught fire. One man driving and two women in the car died at the scene. Seat belt use is under investigation, as well as the cause of the crash.

During the Sioux Falls Police Department briefing Friday, Lt. Andrew Siebenborn reminded drivers to be careful.

“By 26th Street, where it goes from 65 to 55, and you start getting some curves, then as people are getting on the entries and exits to the interstates, they start to get backed up so everyone needs to pay attention and see what the traffic in front of you looks is doing,” said Lt. Siebenborn.

With so much construction this year, and more people on the roads for summer it is even more important for drivers to be careful of their surroundings.

“When you’re traveling this time of year, with the heightened traffic volumes, everybody’s traveling for a vacation or its nice weather they’re getting out to do things, we want to say plan your travels ahead, use to see where construction may be and from there you can actually plan your trip, give yourself enough time to arrive safely,” said Harry Johnston, Sioux Falls Area Engineer for the Department of Transportation.

With many accidents in that area over the past few years, the Department of Transportation recently placed a high friction surface treatment on a stretch of Interstate 229. It’s supposed to help tires grip the roadway better in the winter months, but it should help in warmer months as well.

With this most recent crash, investigators will look further into any safety measures that might be needed.

“All crashes are looked at and we definitely look to see if there is any way to improve the particular location where the crashes may happen,” said Johnston. “We do that by just reviewing and working with the local PD or the Highway Patrol to see if there’s anything at that location that may need to improve.”

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