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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Storm blamed as crash kills father, 3 children

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

At least five people, including four members of the same family, were killed on snowy highways as a winter storm moved across the state.

On Sunday, Daniel Hammen, 43, of Chicago, and his three children : James, 16, Joseph, 11, and Nicholas, 2 , were killed when their minivan slid across snow and ice-covered Interstate 80 and struck a semitrailer head-on near Atlantic in western Iowa.

Hammen's wife, Wanda, 36, was taken to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, in Omaha, Neb., where she was in critical condition Monday. The driver and a passenger in the semi weren't hurt.

A girl died Monday when the minivan her mother was driving collided with a truck at the intersection of Iowa highways 316 and 163, east of Des Moines.

The mother and another daughter were injured. The truck driver wasn't hurt. Their names weren't immediately released.

Numerous other accidents were reported Monday as motorists slipped and slid on their way to work and school. Interstate 29 near Missouri Valley in western Iowa was closed for a while Monday morning because of an accident, the Iowa State Patrol said.

The slow-moving storm trudged its way into western Iowa Sunday, first delivering a mix of freezing drizzle and rain and snow. It changed to all snow by late Sunday afternoon and the snow gradually spread over most of Iowa by Monday morning, causing many school districts to delay or cancel classes.

The heaviest snow was reported in western Iowa, where as much as 10 inches of snow as reported, said Steve Teachout, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, in Des Moines.

Sac City had received 6 inches of snow by late morning. Four inches had fallen in Des Moines, Teachout said.

One weather observer reported up to 10 inches of snow near Lewis, which is southwest of Atlantic.

By comparison, Knoxville, southeast of Des Moines, had only received a trace of snow, Teachout said.

A winter storm warning remained in effect for much of northwest Iowa until 6 p.m. Monday. A winter weather advisory was in effect for most of central Iowa.

The snow was expected to taper off by evening, giving way to bitter cold and a blustery northwest wind, Teachout said.

"The winds will pick up ... so we will be looking at dangerous wind chill levels," he said.

Lows Monday night were expected to drop to near zero in many locations with windchills as low as 25 below, he said.

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