Missing Iowa trucker's body found after 5 months | Closures on I-70 ongoing

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, April 29, 2024:

David Schultz, missing since November, found dead in farm field

The body of a truck driver who went missing in rural Iowa in November was located last week in a field near where he went missing.

David Schultz mysteriously disappeared on Nov. 21 in Lake View, Iowa. His truck was found sitting in the roadway, not pulled over, on Highway 71 with his phone and wallet still inside the cab. He was reportedly supposed to unload in Sac City, Iowa -- just north of Lake View -- with a load of hogs, but he never made it to his destination.

Even after multiple weeks of searching the area, Schultz was not located. However, on April 24, a farmer found a body in his field “near the intersection" where his truck was found, according to a press release from the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

On April 25, the body was positively identified through dental records as 53-year-old Schultz. Iowa DPS noted that “preliminary autopsy results show no signs of trauma or serious injury,” adding that “further autopsy test results are pending.”

[Related: More details: Timeline of missing Iowa trucker]

Two killed when massive load shifts off trailer

Two people were killed and one injured Saturday in Temple, Texas, when an oversize load rolled off its trailer and pinned another vehicle beneath it, according to Temple Fire & Rescue.

The incident occurred on Texas Highway 36, just west of Highway 317. Temple Fire & Rescue said the load being hauled weighed approximately 350,000 pounds, but it was unknown just exactly what kind of equipment it was. Pictures (below) show a massive, overlength vessel.  

“The pinned vehicle contained 3 occupants,” Temple Fire & Rescue said in a Facebook post. “2 passengers sustained fatal injuries, the third was extricated and flown to the ER with life threatening injuries. Extrication took just over 4 hours to safely remove the driver from the vehicle.”

Numerous agencies responded to the incident. Officials said the cause of the collision is still under investigation.

[Related: Rail strike by oversize rig closes I-95]

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I-70 lane closures planned in Colorado this week

Truckers heading eastbound on I-70 in Colorado this week may experience delays, as the Colorado Department of Transportation will be working on the emergency escape ramp at milemarker 256 near Lookout Mountain.

During the week of April 29, there will be various single- and double-lane closures.

Single-lane closures include:

  • Monday 6 p.m. to Tuesday 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday 6 p.m. to Wednesday 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday 6 p.m. to Thursday 1 p.m.
  • Thursday 6 p.m. to Friday 10 a.m.

Double-lane closures include:

  • Monday 8 p.m. to Tuesday 6 a.m.
  • Tuesday 8 p.m. to Wednesday 6 a.m.
  • Wednesday 8 p.m. to Thursday 6 a.m.
  • Thursday 8 p.m. to Friday 9 a.m.

There will also be 24-hour weekday right and left shoulder closures, an 11-foot lane restriction and 40 mph speed limit for trucks from exits 254 to 259.

Work on the eastbound I-70 Mount Vernon Emergency Escape Ramp Project began in November. The project is to rebuild the eastbound I-70 escape ramp at mile marker 257 just east of Genesee. The project will make the ramp more visible and robust for truck drivers to use in the event of an emergency like failed brakes, CDOT said.

Some of the improvements include better advance signage, larger barriers between the ramp and the adjacent steep embankment, additional cameras at the ramp, new ramp lighting, and a better ramp design allowing for late entry should truckers miss the escape ramp entrance. The emergency escape ramp will remain closed until the project’s completion in the late spring of 2024. The project is scheduled to wrap up in late May/early June.

[Related: Tales of three runaway trucks: Crises endured, averted]

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