Police in Sioux County, Iowa are seeking assistance in finding the driver of a semi truck that caused an accident and then drove away from the scene last Thursday.

Facts in the case are scarce:

Around 3 in the afternoon, the tire of the truck blew out while the truck was traveling northbound on Sioux County Road L22, near the city of Granville, Iowa. Part of the tire and part of the trailer itself then went through the windshield of another vehicle. The semi then drove away from the scene with its tire still presumably shredded.

The driver of the van that was struck was Duane Diamond, a 59 year old resident of Cherokee, Iowa. He was taken to nearby Orange City Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash.

According to witnesses, a white mudflap with the word ‘Smithco’ written on it broke off the truck, presumably when the tire blew. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Sioux County deputies with any information they might have.

If the driver is apprehended, he could face very stiff penalties. First of all, there is the fact that his vehicle injured another driver, yet he drove away from the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident which resulted in an injury is considered a serious misdemeanor in Iowa, and carries penalties of up to one year in prison and a fine of $1,875. It could also result in the suspension or forfeiture of his license depending on the discretion of the judge in the case.

It is also possible, even likely, that the driver will be considered for reckless driving and endangerment of other drivers on the road — driving with a blown out tire is a difficult proposition at the best of times, and doing so with a difficult to control vehicle such as a semi exacerbates the matter extensively. Again this is only a misdemeanor, but carries with it a possible 30 days of additional jail time and a fine of $625.

Semi truck drivers have an additional responsibility to drive safely and with concern for other motorists. Leaving the scene of any accident is illegal; leaving the scene of an accident where someone is injured is reprehensible.