Investigators say alcohol may have been a factor in a traffic crash in western Iowa that killed two teenage girls and sent six other people to the hospital. It happened Saturday night near Council Bluffs.
Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says 19-year-old Elizabeth Chadwick of rural Crescent was driving a car that crossed into the path of an oncoming van. “According to witnesses, the Chadwick vehicle drifted off the road, the right hand shoulder of the road, and when she pulled it back on she over corrected and it took her into the northbound lane,” Danker said.
An Eppley Airport shuttle hit the car. Both Chadwick and a passenger, 18-year-old Jessica Weinfurtner of Council Bluffs, were pronounced dead at the scene. Six passengers in the van were taken to area hospitals for treatment of minor injuries.
Danker says investigators are still looking into whether alcohol or speed were factors in the accident. “There was some alcohol in the vehicle, but we don’t know if that was a contributing factor or not. The speed we will have to determine through the technical investigation,” Danker said.
Officials are also looking into other factors. Danker says the roadway on which the crash occurred, Old Lincoln Highway, is a narrow, two lane paved road that contains many hills and curves. The highway is a rural road and does not have streetlights.