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Northern Iowa man faces felony drunk driving charge after taking Blazer airborne

EMMETSBURG, IOWA – A long investigation into an auto accident in which two people were injured has led to a felony drunk driving charge and other allegations against the driver.

The Palo Alto county sheriff’s office said today that Joseph Michael Ackerman Jr., age 36 of Peterson, Iowa, was the driver of a Chevy Blazer that crossed the center line in the 4400 Block of 380th Avenue and vaulted over a cement culvert back on September 26, 2016. This caused the Blazer to go airborne, strike a creek embankment, flip and then came to rest on the driver side. Ackerman and a passenger, 27-year-old Brianna Laubenthal of Spencer, were extricated from the vehicle by mechanical means and both were then airlifted to hospitals for treatment of their injuries.

As a result of a four month long investigation into this traffic accident, the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office has arrested and charged Ackerman Jr. with:

– Operating while Intoxicated (OWI) 3rd Offense- A Class D Felony
– Serious Injury by Motor Vehicle- A Class D Felony
– Carrying Weapons- An Aggravated Misdemeanor
– Operating a Motor Vehicle without Registration- A Simple Misdemeanor
– Fail of Proof of Security Against Liability (No Insurance)- A Simple Misdemeanor
– Driving While License Suspended- A Simple Misdemeanor
– Failure to Maintain Control- A Simple Misdemeanor

Ackerman was jailed and later posted $10,000.00 bond as he awaits court dates.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office assisted with this arrest.

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