Iowa trucker struck and killed by passing motorist on Minnesota freeway

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 3/5/2015

Authorities say an Iowa trucker who was killed by a pickup truck early Monday morning was standing in the right-hand lane of the highway rather than on the shoulder.

The collision that killed 47-year-old Robert J. Passow, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, occurred after Passow exited his cab to assess the damage to his tractor-trailer after he was involved in minor crash with another passenger vehicle, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

According to the state patrol, Passow was a driver for Keim TS out of Sabetha, Kan., a company specializing in flatbed and dry van cargo.

The fender-bender occurred at around 6 a.m. Monday as Passow was traveling northbound on Interstate 35W near the Park Avenue exit in Minneapolis. According to the crash report in that incident, Passow, who was driving a 2014 Kenworth and pulling a dry van trailer, and a 2014 Toyota Camry driven by Mary Catherine Cashmen-Bakken, 57, of Waterville, Minn., had what was described as “a minor crash” by a spokeswoman for the state patrol.

According to Lt. Tiffani Nielsen, public information officer for the state patrol, both vehicles pulled over onto the shoulder of the highway to inspect the damage. I-35W runs north, then east through Minneapolis. Nielsen said the crash occurred at an area of the road near a 90-degree curve in which the roadway goes from northbound to eastbound.

“Mr. Passow had stepped out of the truck to photograph the damage to the vehicles involved,” Nielsen said in a phone interview with Land Line. “The reason we know this is because the (other driver) observed this.”

Nielsen said Passow was standing in the right-hand lane of traffic on the roadway, rather than the shoulder, when he was struck by a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, driven by Matthew Alan Jacobson, 30, of Rosemount, Minn.

According to a crash report, Jacobson told police he was traveling at 50 mph when observed Passow in the roadway and tried to swerve to avoid hitting him. The posted speed limit in that area is 55 mph, according to Nielsen.

“The pickup truck driver was not impaired by drugs or alcohol and has been cooperating,” she said.

Passow was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries the following day.

Nielsen said that weather conditions were not a factor at the time of the crash. No charges have been filed as of Thursday, but Nielsen said the investigation is ongoing.

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