Soft mud blamed in driver’s death
Soft mud giving way on County Road 6400 was to blame when a feed truck driver was discovered unconscious in a ditch Wednesday afternoon, July 21, at 2:08 p.m.
Herbert A. VanKley, 65, of Columbus was found unresponsive in the cab of his truck after it rolled into the ditch when the shoulder of the road gave way on Road 6400 near Road H.
According to Thayer County Sheriff David Lee, VanKley was parked on the side of the gravel road waiting for another person to bring a tractor to off-load sacks of grain. Sheriff Lee said the other person was pulling away from the feed truck to go get the tractor and heard a crash. When the person turned to see what happened, the feed truck had rolled into the ditch. That person called 911.
Thayer County had received enough rain all morning to warrant very soft gravel roads and shoulders. Rescue workers transported VanKley to Thayer County Health Services where he was pronounced dead. Sheriff Lee said VanKley was thrown about in the cab when the truck went over.