Hit and run halts power
Published: Thursday, September 26th, 2013
City of Custer deputy finance officer Lisa Trana was working the morning of Sept. 16 when she heard a crash, followed by Mayor Gary Lipp telling her to call 911. When she ran outside, she saw remnants of a car in the road between city hall and Custer Do-It-Best.
Trana and the other city staff were witnessing the tail end of a hit and run accident that happened at approximately 11 a.m., moments after city staff had just concluded its weekly department head meeting.
Dale Gosselin, 68, was eastbound on Crook Street in a car when he rear-ended another vehicle being driven by Devota Cline, 80.
South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Shann Barrick said when Gosselin hit Cline, it pushed her off the road and Gosselin’s vehicle continued up Crook Street at an estimated 77 miles per hour before hitting a dumpster near Trail View Apartments, knocking down a mailbox pedestal, sliding through Golden West cable and phone lines and hitting and knocking down a Black Hills Power pedestal before coming to a stop.
Cline pulled over at the YMCA, where Lipp rushed outside to verify she was OK. At that time, Custer County Sheriff Department reserve Bill Schleining happened to be driving down the road, where Trana stopped him and told him about what had happened.
“I saw a cloud of dust and didn’t think the car stopped at the dead end,” Trana said. “Multiple people were lining up on Crook Street to see where the speeding car ended up.”
Custer County Sheriff Rick Wheeler, who was also at the morning meeting, was directed toward where Gosselin was headed by Lipp, who then went next door to the Custer Volunteer Fire Department hall to get the doors open for responders who were called to an accident by Trail View Apartments.
When Lipp returned to the office, his pager went off again, requesting assistance for Cline, who was complaining of heart palpitations. Lipp went back outside and stayed with Cline until the ambulance arrived.
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