This was from one of my funniest days on the job. I was an eye-witness.
By MEGAN TILK
St. Joseph News-Press
What started as a two-vehicle accident Saturday afternoon at the intersection of North Third Street and East Highland Avenue ended up as two separate accidents.
While officers attempted to clear the scene of a previous accident involving a Ford Explorer that had rolled over, an employee of Collision Repair Specialists used a tow truck to tip the vehicle back onto its tires. Once the Explorer landed, it then rolled backward down a hill and struck two parked vehicles and a street sign in front of 305 E. Highland.
The owners of the parked vehicles, Michael and Kristen Hart, arrived shortly after the accidents occurred.
“I was kind of in shock,” Ms. Hart said.
She was enjoying a birthday supper when her son, who was at home and heard the accidents happen, called to deliver the news.
St. Joseph Police Officer Matt Biggs, who was nearly struck by the out-of-control Explorer, was eventually able to reach into the driver’s side window of the Explorer once it began to slow down and stop the vehicle before it could do more damage.
The initial accident occurred when Laura L. Gerdes, 57, of Elwood, Kan., was travelling east on Highland and her Explorer was struck by a northbound Ford Windstar, driven by Devina Barnett, 23, of St. Joseph. The force from the impact caused the Explorer to spin and roll, coming to rest on the driver’s side facing west, said Police Officer Wyatt Laipple.
Ms. Gerdes was extricated from the Explorer and taken to Heartland Regional Medical Center, where a spokeswoman said she was in fair condition late Saturday.
Ms. Barnett was cited with failure to stop or yield to oncoming traffic.