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Police: Iowa dad was drunk in crash that seriously hurt two kids

Jeff Raasch, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa –

Two weeks after a crash that seriously injured two of his children, a Cedar Rapids father has been accused of being drunk behind the wheel.

Jack V. Hanson, 37, was formally charged Thursday with two counts of child endangerment causing serious injury and two counts of serious injury by motor vehicle. Police said he was taking his kids home from a school program around 8 p.m. on Dec. 8 when he crashed in the 400 block of Stoney Creek Road NW.

Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden confirmed the charges and said Hanson registered a blood alcohol content of 0.152. He said operating while intoxicated is an element of the serious injury by motor vehicle charge.

According to police, Hanson was northbound in the subdivision with his 8-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son in the back seat when he lost control of his sport-utility vehicle. The SUV knocked over a basketball hoop onto a car and struck a tree. Officers said the accident caused an estimated $3,500 in damage.

An older son was following Hanson when the crash happened, and took the two children to their home a few blocks away to meet an ambulance, police said. They were later taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said Hanson’s daughter suffered facial injuries and has since been released, but as of Friday, the boy was still hospitalized. He was in a body cast, recovering from fractures in his back and a broken leg, Hamblin said.

When officers talked to Hanson that night, they noted he had slurred speech, bloodshot and watery eyes and smelled of alcohol. He also had minor injuries from the crash and was treated at a hospital.

In addition to the charges, Hanson was also ticketed for failure to maintain control, failure to wear a safety belt, no insurance and two counts of failing to secure a child.

Under Iowa law, any child under 18 must be restrained by a car seat or a seat belt.

Hanson was booked at the Linn County Jail on Friday, but was allowed to sign a promise to appear in court and released. Hamblin said the case would be forwarded to the Department of Human Services.

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