At around 2 p.m. or so, a driver lost control, and his vehicle left the gravel roadway (22nd Avenue) and entered the west ditch, knocking down a section of fence, and damaging some electrical equipment belonging to the East Central REC, as well as Kersten. The vehicle barely missed a utility pole, along with a board containing several electrical connections and the sign announcing the hours of the Kersten light display.
The driver was somehow able to remove the vehicle from the ditch, but did not alert Kersten or authorities about the fence.
Shortly later, Kersten’s hound, Gomer, wandered onto the roadway, and was hit by another vehicle, killing the dog.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Benton County Sheriff’s Office at 319-472-2337.
Just in from the Sheriff’s Office:
Single Vehicle Crash
On January 17, 2018 at about 1605 Hrs. the Benton County Sheriff’s Office was notified of an accident that occurred at 5598 22nd Avenue Trail, (Kersten’s Lights). Heidi Kersten, came home to find that someone traveling on 22nd Avenue had lost control and went into the ditch. The vehicle took out about 40-50 feet of fence and struck the electrical boxes that feed the light display. The vehicle left the scene and did not report that accident. Heidi’s dog was also deceased laying in the roadway with apparent fatal injuries from a vehicle strike. It is unclear if the death of the dog was related to the accident, or if the dog got out due to the fence being down after the accident. If you have any information regarding this please contact the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. The accident remains under investigation.
Light season a success
Kersten said the lighting season was a successful. While traffic was slow in early December, the last two weeks before Christmas saw a steadier stream of cars. And, the donations that visitors left in “Shorty” the wooden giraffe were again enough to cover the large electric bill.
That bill also arrived this week, and Kersten said donations were enough to cover that expense.