One driver cited, another injured in Hwy. 34 crash
The accident occurred Aug. 4 at the corner of State Hwy. 34 and County Road 6 in Park Rapids.
A two-vehicle accident resulted in an injury and a traffic citation Thursday, Aug. 4 in Park Rapids.
According to the Park Rapids Police Department’s incident report, the crash was reported at 9:20 a.m. at the intersection of 1st Street (State Hwy. 34) and Henrietta Avenue (County 6).
Responding officers found a 2017 Acura MDX and a 2007 Toyota Tundra, both with severe damage, blocking the northbound lane of Henrietta Avenue, south of the intersection. North Memorial Ambulance and Park Rapids Fire Department personnel were already on scene.
The driver of the Acura was identified as Stephen Allen Caughey, 64, of Park Rapids, and the Tundra was driven by Tommy James Vokes, 75, of Nevis.
According to the report, witnesses said the Acura was westbound on Hwy. 34 and had pulled into the intersection to turn south on County 6 while the light was yellow, and began to turn as the light turned red. Witnesses said the Tundra, traveling east in the inner lane of Hwy. 34, ran the red light and struck the Acura as it turned.
Front airbags deployed in both vehicles. Both drivers were wearing seat belts. The Acura ended up on the sidewalk on the southeast corner of the intersection with damage mainly on the passenger side. The Tundra was found facing south in the northbound lane with primarily front-end damage.
The report said Caughey claimed the Tundra was speeding, possibly traveling 40 mph in a 30-mph zone. After being assessed by paramedics, Caughey was transported by a family member to CHI St. Joseph’s Health, where law enforcement later learned he was treated for broken ribs.
According to the report, Vokes admitted he made a mistake and that when the other driver pulled out in front of him, he hit him. Vokes was unsure of his exact speed, but said he was driving “at least 30” mph and believed he could make the yellow light.
However, the report noted, Vokes admitted he had not yet entered the intersection when the light was yellow, suggesting to law enforcement that the light was already red when Vokes entered the intersection.
After being assessed by paramedics, Vokes was released from the scene.
The vehicles were removed from the scene by Nick’s Service. Based on their investigation, law enforcement mailed Vokes a citation for failure to drive with due care and failing to stop at a semaphore.