MECKLING — Authorities, including officers of the South Dakota Highway Patrol and the Clay County Sheriff's Department, responded to a fatal traffic accident that occurred Tuesday morning in the eastbound lane of Highway 50 about a mile east of Meckling.
According to the Department of Public Safety, the driver of an eastbound 2015 GMC G500 van collided into a South Dakota Department of Transportation vehicle that was also being driven eastbound on Highway 50 at 10:01 a.m. The truck was traveling at a low rate of speed working along the roadway and was equipped with a light board, which was activated and signaled oncoming vehicles to go around the truck.
The driver of the van was killed in the accident, while the driver of the Department of Transportation (DOT) vehicle reported minor injuries.
“A vehicle drove into the back of one of the (state) Department of Transportation’s paint striping vehicles,” Clay County Sheriff Andy Howe said. “It was actually a vehicle with a directional arrow trying to divert traffic for the paint vehicle, so he didn’t run into the vehicle that was doing the painting, but rather the vehicle that was following, directing traffic to the passing lane.”
The DOT is currently working on painting lane striping on that stretch of highway.
The 54-year-old male driver of the van, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 62-year-old male driver of the truck, who was wearing a seat belt, sustained minor injuries and was taken to the Yankton hospital by personal vehicle.
“The Highway Patrol is doing the investigation. At this point, there is no indication of any impairment or anything like that,” the sheriff said. “The cause is still under investigation in terms of how it happened. It doesn’t appear that distraction was an issue. The accident is still under investigation.”