Accident on campus results in damage to 6 parked cars

by Courtney Kirkland

Simpson students were left with a lot of questions, and some with damaged vehicles, after a bizarre car accident on Jan. 20.

According to Officer Anthony Beminio of the Indianola Police Department a vehicle driven by Jennifer Kay Curtis was traveling north on C street around 1:30 a.m. when she lost control and struck six parked cars.

“She was traveling north when she swerved right, hitting the rear view mirror of the first vehicle. After that she hit the street unit on the driver’s side by the rear wheel, then, somehow making it around the second vehicle she barely clipped the third vehicle taking some paint off of the bumper,” said Beminio. “Next, she sideswiped the fourth vehicle taking the paint off of the entire length of the side of the vehicle. The last two were a domino effect; she struck the fifth vehicle in the back pushing it forward into the sixth and last vehicle that was involved.”

According to Chris Frerichs, director of campus security at Simpson, Simpson security officials responded to the accident when they heard a car alarm sound. Once on the scene they saw the damaged vehicles and Curtis’ abandoned vehicle stopped parallel in the road. Immediately the Indianola Police Department was notified.

According to the IPD, Curtis first denied involvement in the accident. However, after the IPD questioned the injured passenger Lyndsy Owen, a Simpson junior who suffered swelling to her face and slight head trauma, it was confirmed that Curtis was the driver.

“Curtis later admitted that she was the driver of the car and that she fled [the scene] because she was scared, but I think the alcohol was a factor,” said Beminio.

Curtis was charged with operating while intoxicated, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury and interference with official acts.

The owners of the damaged vehicles were notified the morning of the accident. Curtis’ insurance company has already made contact with the victims, although Curtis has not.

“I was kind of unhappy because I couldn’t get a hold of her [Curtis], and she never tried to get in contact with me,” said Calista Vasey, a freshman at Simpson and owner of a vehicle involved in the accident. “Her insurance company, however, had left a card on my car by the next day, and three days later I received a check along with an estimate of the damage. I am glad because my car has already been fixed.”

Rachel Shea, another Simpson freshman wasn’t as lucky.

“This entire situation really sucks for me because my car was older, but it got me around,” said Shea. “My car was totaled and the money the insurance company gave me isn’t enough to buy a new one, so now I don’t have a car and I live four hours away.”

Other registered owners of vehicles that were involved are: Robert Shelquist of Ankeny, Amber Williams of Atlantic, Denise Janssen of Bloomfield and Jeffrey Croner of Estherville.

Curtis did not return a phone call requesting comment.