A semitrailer truck rear-ended vehicles in slowed traffic on an Iowa interstate, killing a 2-year-old girl from Minneapolis and injuring her mother, authorities said.
The three-vehicle wreck occurred late Monday afternoon near Dexter on Interstate 80, roughly 35 miles west of Des Moines, according to the State Patrol. The backup was caused by another semi going into the ditch farther east on the interstate, the patrol said.
Friends in a posting on a GoFundMe page collecting money for the family have identified the girl as Aurora Wheeler.
Her mother, 34-year-old Bethany Wheeler, was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines for treatment of serious injuries. As of Thursday afternoon, she was in good condition, a hospital spokesman said.
The patrol noted that Wheeler’s having her seat belt fastened spared her life. Aurora was in the back of the car and in a child safety seat, the patrol said. The girl was declared dead at the scene.
Husband Issac Wheeler, 34, was driving and did not require hospitalization, the patrol added.
The semi was heading east and struck the Wheelers’ car from behind, and also a van that was slowed in traffic, the patrol said in its preliminary crash report. The car and van came to rest in the median.
Neither truck driver William K. Grother, 28, of Parker, S.D., nor van driver Matt Robinson, 40, of Illinois was hurt.