LEHIGH, IOWA – Iowa Department of Natural Resources conservation officers responded to a snowmobile crash on Friday, February 15, 2019 at 1:45 p.m., approximately four miles south of Lehigh on the Des Moines River.
Officers believe Timothy Gerdes, 50, of Story City, was traveling 60 to 65 mph when he hit an ice heave, more than three-foot tall, that was hidden by the recent snowfall, causing Gerdes’ snowmobile to go airborne and him to be ejected.
Gerdes was transported to a Fort Dodge hospital and then to a Des Moines hospital for spinal injuries—no update on his current condition. Gerdes was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
The DNR reminds snowmobilers and others out on Iowa waterways of the dangers of ice heaves caused by the fluctuating water levels due to the freezing, thawing and re-freezing of the snow and ice.
The Webster County Sheriff’s Office, Webster County Emergency Management, Dayton Fire Department, Leigh Fire and Rescue, Stratford Fire and Rescue and Fort Dodge Fire and Rescue assisted the Iowa DNR with the crash.