INDEPENDENCE, Iowa --- Emergency workers were shocked there were no serious injuries in a head-on crash north of town Monday morning.
Authorities said a Toyota Camry heading south on Iowa Highway 150 about three miles north of Independence veered into the northbound lane, sideswiped a car and hit a pickup head-on.
Five of six people involved in the crash, including four school-aged children, were taken to the Buchanan County Health Center in Independence by ambulance for non-life-threatening injuries. All were wearing seat belts and the driver’s side airbag deployed in the Camry.
“It’s a miracle anyone walked away from it,” said Rick Wulfekuhle, assistant fire chief of Independence Fire Department and Buchanan County emergency management coordinator. “You can tell they were hurting ... with seat belt burns. But anyway you cut it, seat belts save lives.”
The accident occurred shortly before 8 a.m.
Authorities said the Camry was driven by Peighton Kayser, 16, of Hazleton. Also in the car were her younger siblings, Morgan, 13; Braydon, 11 and Jaydon, 7. Police said the children were going to school.
Peighton Kayser crossed the center line and first hit Scott McCardle of Independence, who swerved to avoid a collision. He was driving a four-door Mercury Mystique.
“It hit me on my door and right side and spun me around,” he said as a flatbed wrecker loaded up his vehicle. He was the only person that didn’t go to the hospital.
“Somebody is looking out for him,” added McCardle’s mother, Diane Knowles, who came to the scene to pick up her son.
Peighton then hit a GMC pickup head-on driven by Lowell Meier of Walker, the police report said. Authorities said Meier was able to slow down in the 55 mph zone to lessen the affect of the crash. It’s unknown why Peighton Kayser crossed the center line.
McCardle and Walker were in their own lane, authorities said. Charges are pending against Peighton Kayser.