Driver in Christmas Day fatality faces charges
The driver of a vehicle involved in a Christmas Day fatality that happened on old Highway 20 between Fort Dodge and Duncombe is facing several charges.
Ruth Tomlinson, 21, of Fort Dodge, is accused of of driving on the wrong side of a two-way highway, failure to maintain, and failure to provide proof of financial liability, according to Iowa Courts Online.
She is scheduled to appear in Magistrate Court in Webster County on Friday.
Payton Henry, 6, of Webster City, was taken off life support on Dec. 26.
She was a passenger in a vehicle carrying her family to a Christmas celebration in Fort Dodge.
Justin Henry, of Webster City, was driving when his pickup collided head-on with a vehicle driven by Tomlinson that was traveling eastbound in the wrong lane, according to the accident report.
According a Go Fund Me page set up to help the family at the time, Payton Henry not only sustained a broken neck in the crash, but first responders discovered that candy had been lodged in her throat.
The rest of the family, Rowyn Henry, an infant; Hayley Henry, 3; Justin Henry and Brooke Ford, 24, all sustained incapacitating injuries, the Iowa State Patrol reported.
Tomlinson, who was driving a Jeep Wrangler, was also hurt.
The accident happened near the intersection of 200th Street and Vincent Avenue around 10:51 a.m. on Christmas morning, according to ISP Trooper Neil Morenz.
While the Henry family was headed west towards Fort Dodge, Tomlinson’s vehicle was eastbound on the same road, the ISP reported.
Morenz said Tomlinson was left of center on the wrong side of the road.
The two vehicles collided head-on, causing the Jeep to catch fire.
The injured were taken to Trinity Regional Medical Center.
Payton Henry was then transported by Life Flight helicopter to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines.
Although there was fog on Christmas morning, Morenz said investigators didn’t believe it was a factor in the accident.