Tractor driver illegally traveling on South Dakota interstate charged with manslaughter
ALEXANDRIA, S.D. — A Texas man has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in connection with a Friday morning crash 2 miles east of Alexandria that left another man dead.
According to court documents filed Monday morning, Sept. 9, and according to information from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, 31-year-old Jason Ingram of Kempner, Texas, was illegally driving a Case Versatile 305 tractor west on Interstate 90 and pulling a hose trailer when the crash occurred.
Just before noon, a westbound 2001 Dodge Caravan with Minnehaha County plates driven by 52-year-old Johnnie Hines, of Sioux Falls, reportedly rear-ended Ingram, causing significant front-end damage to the van. Hines was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS. Kempner was uninjured.
Alexandria is about 15 miles east of Mitchell.
Under South Dakota law, vehicles cannot be driven slower than 40 mph on an interstate highway without a permit issued by the South Dakota Department of Transportation. According to staff at Scott Supply Co. in Mitchell, the tractor involved in the crash would have a maximum speed of about 26 mph and would be slower when pulling a trailer.
Information on the vehicles' speeds at the time of the crash and the status of any permits that would have allowed the tractor to be legally driven on the interstate is under investigation and is not being released.
According to an affidavit filed by South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Tori Gordon, the trailer did not have any flashing lights or slow-moving signs. Ingram, who told law enforcement he worked for Minnesota-based Boehnke Waste Handling and was traveling from a farm in Viborg to another farm in Wolsey, reportedly said the trailer had taillights but declined further questioning.
Boehnke Waste Handling has not responded to The Daily Republic's requests for comment.
Ingram is also charged with reckless driving, a Class 1 misdemeanor, and is being held on a $4,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court in October.
Second-degree manslaughter is a Class 4 felony punishable upon conviction by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.