Woman Killed By an Unattended Tractor At Iowa Beach
The Des Moines Register reports that a 21-year-old Wisconsin woman died on Tuesday afternoon at Clear Lake State Park. The victim was struck by an unattended tractor while on the beach at the park. That tractor is owned by the state of Iowa.
According to the Register, Mercedes Kohlhardt of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, was sitting near a beach at Clear Lake State Park on Tuesday afternoon at around 4:13 p.m. The unattended state-owned tractor rolled down and over a hill and struck her. The Cerro Gordo County Sheriff's Department responded to the accident. Sheriff's officials told the Register that the compact tractor was sitting on top of a hill near a grassy area by the beach. Officials say that the small tractor is often used for jobs like clearing away brush and branches.
Sheriff's officials tell the Register that Kohlhardt was at the beach vacationing with her boyfriend at the time of the accident. They were sitting on the grassy area when the tractor struck Kohlhardt. Brakes on the tractor were applied when it started rolling down the hill. Officials say they have no idea why the tractor broke loose and rolled away.
The Register reports that Kohlhardt suffered severe injuries and died at the scene of the accident. The entire incident remains under investigation.