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Names released for fatal four-vehicle crash in southeast South Dakota

BERESFORD, S.D. – Authorities say a Sioux Falls man has been identified as the person who died in a fatal crash involving four vehicles early Wednesday morning.

According to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, 29-year-old Brenton Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene of a multivehicle accident five miles north of Beresford, South Dakota.

In a press release, the Department of Safety said the crash occurred at about 6:24 a.m. on October 30.

Law enforcement officials say 29-year-old Michael Wright of Moville, Iowa, was driving a 2007 Peterbilt Conventional semi-truck southbound on I-29 when the vehicle lost a tire. The tire and rim landed in the northbound lanes of I-29 where it was hit by a 2011 Dodge Ram pickup.

Officials say the pickup was driven by 31-year-old Timothy Honaker Jr. of Beresford. The impact caused Honaker to lose control and the pickup crossed the median into the southbound lanes where it struck a southbound 2005 Chevrolet Express van driven by Johnson. The pickup then rolled and went into the ditch.

Officials say after the van was hit, it entered the median and rolled into the northbound lanes. Johnson was thrown from the vehicle and onto the northbound lanes. He was not wearing a seatbelt.

A 2003 Chevrolet Silverado pickup driven by 61-year-old Donald Jeitz of Centerville, South Dakota, became involved in the crash when it swerved to miss Johnson’s van.

Johnson was the only one killed in the incident. A passenger in the van, 21-year-old Carl Bruening of Rapid City, South Dakota, was wearing a seatbelt and received serious non-life threatening injuries. He was transferred to a Sioux Falls hospital for treatment.

Honaker received only minor injuries while Wright and Jeitz received no injuries.

Traffic officials say I-29’s northbound lanes were closed for almost three hours while southbound traffic was reduced to one lane for three hours.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol is still investigating the crash.

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Dean Welte

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