Off Duty Police Officer Cited In Fatal Crash
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
July 23, 2013 2:05 PM
A 17 year old from Badger is dead after a car driven by an off duty Sioux Falls police officer struck her car and forced her into oncoming traffic.
Cynthia Holmquest, who struck Savannah Koistinen's car pushing the vehicle into oncoming traffic, is a police officer in Sioux Falls. According to Captain Kevin Joffer, Holmquest was reaching for a pair of sunglasses when Koistinen slowed down to turn into a private driveway on US 14.
Holmquest was off duty at the time of the accident. Sioux Falls Information Officer Sam Clemens says that Holmquest remains active on the Sioux Falls Police Depart.
Koistinen was preparing to turn when Holmquest failed to slow down and struck Koistinen's vehicle. Koistinen's vehicle was forced into the westbound lane of US 14. A school bus, carrying a group of high school volleyball players made head-on contact with the vehicle. Only minor injuries were reported on the school bus.
Koistinen died at the scene of the crash. The two passengers, Kelsey Keller, of Bryant, and Levi Tapani, of Sheridan, WY, were transported to Brookings and then flown to Sioux Falls with serious injuries.
All were wearing seatbelts in Koistinen's car.
Holmquest was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured. She was cited for careless driving.
“It’s essentially a class two misdemeanor. It’s a fine payable, if you plead guilty or if you are found guilty, there’s a fine,” said Captain Joffer.
The Highway Department says this is the harsh reminder to always pay attention while driving.
“People should be alert at all times. I know there are a lot of distractions in vehicles and a lot of distractions with modern technology these days. But, it’s important to be attentive all the time,” said Captain Joffer.