Investigators say a crash this week in south-central Iowa that killed a toddler occurred when the boy’s mother turned to look at the child. The vehicle crossed the center line on Highway 65, south of Indianola, and struck an oncoming semi. Two-year-old Jacob Saffell, who was in a car seat, died at the scene Tuesday afternoon.
Thirty-one-year-old Jennifer Saffell of Lacona was taken by helicopter to a hospital and released on Wednesday. Sergeant Scott Bright is with the Iowa State Patrol. “It’s going to be a hard time for her dealing with this, I can’t imagine,” Bright said. “I’ve thought about it myself, I have kids myself…you know, your kid is acting up in the back seat or crying and you take that brief moment to turn around and take care of the issue.”
Bright suggests motorists who have issues with their kids in vehicle should pull off the road. “It’s a tragic situation when we see something like this where we lose a two-year-old. If people are having issues with their kids, the best thing to do is pull off the side of the road and find a safe place for that so this won’t happen again,” Bright said.
The driver of the semi was not injured. Authorities continue to investigate another crash that killed three people, including a three-year-old girl, in southern Iowa Wednesday afternoon. It happened in Decatur County. A report from the Iowa State Patrol indicated poor road conditions may’ve been a factor as a winter storm was moving through the area at the time.