Serving O'Brien & Clay Counties

12/01/22: Crime, Courts, Accidents & Incidents

• Hartley man killed in traffic accident

Richard Leth, 75, of Hartley, died as a result of a traffic accident which occurred on Highway 4/440th Street at 2:28 a.m. on Nov. 24.

The Iowa State Patrol reported that Leth was northbound on Highway 4 when his 2007 GMC Sierra crossed the centerline and collided in the southbound lane with a 2019 Mack driven by Daniel Meyers, 65, of Spencer.

Leth was pronounced dead at the scene. Meyers was not injured. The Iowa State Patrol was assisted by the Pocahontas Sheriff’s Office, Pocahontas Fire and Ambulance, Pocahontas Police Department and Havelock Fire Department.

• Charged with child endangerment

Miranda Wetrich, 35, of Sanborn, has been charged with Child Endangerment Causing Injury, a class D felony. She is accused of grabbing a minor child by the neck, leaving deep bruising, cutting off airflow and causing pain during an incident in August.

In the complaint filed by the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office, a medical provider at the emergency room alleged the injuries were the result of child abuse. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 1. Wetrich was released from jail on her own recognizance.

• Arrested for OWI

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office initiated a traffic stop at 12:31 a.m. on Nov. 26, in the 2900 mile of 480th Street, near Webb. Following an investigation, John Dwight, 48, of Everly, was arrested and charged with OWI-1st offense, a serious misdemeanor.

Dwight was transported to the Clay County jail where he was held awaiting an initial appearance before the magistrate. No other charges are anticipated.

• Two injured, one charged in accident

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office and officers of the Spencer Police Department investigated an accident which occurred on Nov. 15.

The report stated that Steven Hoogeterp, 59, of Spencer, was eastbound in the 2300 mile of Highway 18 when he lost control of his truck. The vehicle entered the south ditch, spun approximately 90 degrees to the east and faced south as it slid sideways through the ditch and over some smaller trees. It came to rest facing south as it collided with a larger tree. According to the report, Hoogeterp had allegedly been consuming alcoholic beverages.

Due to possible injuries to Hoogeterp and an unnamed passenger, both were transported to Spencer Hospital. Hoogeterp was arrested following his release from the hospital and charged with OWI-1st offense, a serious misdemeanor; and Failure to Maintain Control, Open Container and Failure to Maintain Seatbelt, all simple misdemeanors. Due to medical concerns, Hoogeterp was released with a court date.

The report stated that the passenger was flown to Avera McKennan Hospital at Sioux Falls, S.D. for further treatment.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by Dickens Fire and Rescue and Bud’s Service.

• Rear-ends stopped vehicle

The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office reported that Laura Estela De la Cruz Contreras, 44, of Sheldon, was eastbound on 460th Street/Highway 10 at 5:56 p.m. on Nov. 20, when she stopped for a deer lying in the middle of the road. Shari Darlene Kenney, 24, of Cherokee, was also eastbound. Her 2019 Chevrolet Equinox rear-ended Contreras’ 2012 Dodge Journey. The report said the deer ran off and was not located.

Contreras complained of pain/injury but was not transported. Kenney was not injured. Damage estimates were $5,000 for the Equinox and $1,500 for the Journey. Contreras was cited for No Valid Driver’s License.

• Strikes deer on roadway

An accident that occurred at 7:04 a.m. on Nov. 21 was investigated by the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office. The report stated that Austin Lynn Bobzien, 35, of May City, was eastbound on 400th Street when a deer entered the roadway. The 2003 Chrysler Town & Country struck the deer, causing an estimated $3,000 in damage.