Public Safety

Sheriff's Office identifies two killed after vehicles collide with semi in Linn County

Emergency responders at the scene of a three-vehicle fatal collision on Covington Road, north of Gibney Road. (Linn Coun
Emergency responders at the scene of a three-vehicle fatal collision on Covington Road, north of Gibney Road. (Linn County Sheriff’s Office photo)

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office has released more information about the two people who were killed when their vehicles collided with a semi Monday afternoon just west of Cedar Rapids and south of Palo.

Deputies who responded to the accident on Covington Road north of Gibney Road at around 2:30 p.m. found the semi engulfed in flames after it, a truck and a car collided, according to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office. The drivers of the truck and car, who did not have passengers, were pronounced dead at the scene.

According to a media release from the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, the two people killed at the scene were 17-year-old Jaymin Rathje and 27-year-old Jacqueline Voelker, both of Palo.

The sheriff’s office says upon further investigation it was determined that Rathje had been driving north on Covington Road near the intersection with Gibney Road when his vehicle crossed the center line and collided nearly head on with a southbound semi-tractor trailer being driven by Douglas Yates, 61, of Palo. The collision caused the semi to flip onto its side, striking the northbound vehicle being driven by Voelker. The vehicle and the semi, then engulfed in flames, came to a rest in the east ditch.

Yates wwas helped from the wreckage by passing motorists who came upon the crash scene. He was flown to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for treatment of serious injuries.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the accident.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.