One dead after crashes halt traffic on Highway 61

Police said an Iowa woman died when she was involved in a crash that happened in the backup from an earlier wreck.

The wrecks happened just before 8:30 a.m. Friday morning, June 7, 2013 on U.S. 61 outside of Welton, Iowa.  In both crashes, the vehicles involved were heading south toward Eldridge.

The first crash happened when a vehicle rear ended a grain truck, according to a spokesman for the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department.  The driver of the car, a woman from Maquoketa, was hospitalized for treatment of her injuries.  The driver of the truck was not hurt.

A spokesperson for the Welton Fire Department also said the second crash happened when drivers couldn’t stop in time for traffic halted and backed up from the first wreck.

Police said 24-year-old Amber Gonner apparently did not realize traffic ahead of her was stopped, and she drove her 2002 Ford Taurus into the back of a semi.  Gonner was airlifted to the University of Iowa Hospitals where she later died.

The semi driver was not hurt.

Southbound lanes of U.S. 61 were blocked by the wrecks and emergency crews working them.  The crash scenes were clear by about 9:30 a.m.

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