The South Dakota Highway Patrol is still investigating the cause of an accident that killed four members of a Sioux Falls family.
South Dakota Highway Patrol Captain Kevin Joffer provided an update at Monday's police briefing in Sioux Falls. However, Joffer said there is not much of an update because the investigation is still ongoing.
The accident happened at 5:15pm Saturday. The driver was James Vollmer, 52, with Julie Vollmer, 48, Alyssa Vollmer, 16, and Caleb Vollmer, 13.
Authorities say James Vollmer was driving eastbound in a 2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac. Near mile marker 394 the vehicle left the roadway and entered the median. It struck a cable guardrail and continued to slide in the snow-filled median and down an embankment. It vaulted from one side of the embankment and struck the other side before coming to rest.
Authorities say James Vollmer died at the scene, as did back-seat passengers Alyssa and Caleb. Julie Vollmer, the front-seat passenger, was taken to a Sioux Falls hospital where she died of injuries from the crash.
All four occupants were wearing seatbelts.
Joffer said there was one witness who saw the vehicle leave the roadway, but he said he has not talked to that witness. Joffer asked for anyone in the public to come forward if they have any information regarding the accident.
He said with any fatal accident there can be a number of causes. Joffer said among other things they are looking into whether a mechanical error or health condition could have played a role in the accident.
Joffer added that the accident has been difficult for the first responders of the accident. Joffer said the Highway Patrol has established a critical incident debriefing to give first responders an opportunity to discuss what might be bother them.
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