One Arrested, One Airlifted After Accident Near Inspiration Hills

A Hudson, South Dakota woman was airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital after an accident between Beloit, Iowa and Fairview, South Dakota, near Inspiration Hills on the Iowa side of the river on Monday.

According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, 71-year-old Sharon Kerschion of Hudson was driving a Buick Century northbound on A54B near 260th Street when a 38-year-old male passenger, who was experiencing a mental health condition, distracted her by grabbing the steering wheel. Kerschion lost control of the vehicle and it entered the west ditch where it came to rest on the D & I railroad tracks.

Kerschion was flown by helicopter from the accident location to Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, for treatment of serious injuries.  The passenger was transported by Canton Ambulance to Sanford Health in Sioux Falls for treatment of his mental condition and minor injuries.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Fairview, SD Fire Department, Canton, SD Ambulance, Sanford AirMed, the Rock Valley Police Department, and the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.

The accident remains under investigation.

While investigating the accident, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office arrested 57-year-old William Hargett of Sioux Falls.

According to Sioux County Sheriff Jamie Van Voorst, Hargett, a friend of the occupant in the Buick driven by Kerschion, had been following the vehicle and witnessed the accident. While conducting the accident investigation, Hargett became disruptive with first responders and investigating officers.

Deputies suspected Hargett was under the influence of a controlled substance. A drug K-9 was requested and after a positive indication from the K-9, a THC vape was discovered in Hargett’s vehicle.

Hargett was taken to the Sioux County Jail, where deputies allegedly discovered that Hargett introduced THC vapes and prescription medication he was not prescribed into the jail.

Hargett was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, unlawful possession of prescription drugs, possession of marijuana, and introducing contraband into a controlled facility. The contraband charge is a class D felony, and Hargett could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

Sheriff Van Voorst says Drug Recognition Experts from the sheriff’s office and the Rock Valley Police Department K-9 assisted in the investigation.

Courtesy of Community First Partner KIWA