First, they tossed bottles onto a county highway that leads from Highway 218 north of Vinton to Mount Auburn, causing two flat tires for a driver.
Then, the a few days later, they went a step further, placing a railroad tie in that same area of highway, causing an accident.
Sheriff Ron Tippett says the two male juveniles, one from the Vinton area and one from the Garrison area, were each charged with 2nd degree criminal mischief, which is a felony under Iowa law. The two incidents involved drivers from the same family, but different vehicles, says the Sheriff.
A woman — the wife of the first driver — suffered minor injuries in the accident, after her vehicle went airborne on April 6. Damage was estimated at more than $2,000 to the vehicle, plus the driver’s medical expense.
” It was 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, 2017,” says Michelle Lane, the driver whose vehicle hit the railroad tie.
She had just turned north from Highway 218 onto 22nd Avenue (commonly called The Mount Auburn Blacktop), near the northwest edge of Vinton city limits, when she encountered the obstacle.
“I was heading home from a meeting. I just turned off of Hwy 218 heading towards Mount Auburn when I passed their driveway and bam, hit something in the road. My car went in the air a bit and landed on the opposite lane of traffic, bounced a few times and then back over in my correct lane of traffic. I was lucky that I was able to get the vehicle to stop before it went down the big ditch.”
Michelle says she is thankful that her son, Ryan, was not in the car.
“Due to his medical condition/disability, we would have had to get him to the hospital immediately to get checked to make sure his spine was okay. Any jarring of his spine could damage his spinal cord,” she explains.
Lane says she is also thankful that no other car was coming and that she was alone in the vehicle.
“These kids don’t care about the consequences of their actions. They are old enough to know better and I was also told that they video-taped the incident,” says Lane. “I will be without a vehicle for awhile at least a week or so. There is a lot of damage to the front end. I have mixed emotions about all this but most of all, I am thankful it wasn’t worse.”
Michelle says she had never had any traffic mishaps before last Thursday’s incident.
“It was my first accident,” she said, adding that while she had no broken bones, she has many aches and pains her medical treatment includes visiting both a doctor and a chiropractor.
A passer-by told her after the accident that a previous driver had moved the tie from the roadway, but the juveniles put it back on the pavement.
Michelle’s husband, Dan, was driving the same stretch of roadway the previous Sunday, when his car ran over bottles the two juveniles are accuse of tossing onto the highway, causing two flat tires.
One of the juveniles is age 17; the other, younger.
“I hope they learn from this, too,” Michelle says.