Lawsuits filed in I-35 crash that killed Gordon and Jill Martens

Two lawsuits have been filed against a tractor-trailer driver involved in a crash last year on Interstate Highway 35 south of Ames that killed a couple from Van Meter and seriously injured another person.

It was around 1:45 pm Sept. 7, 2021, when a tractor-trailer driven by Matthew Rewitzer, 33, of Eagle Bend, Minnesota, crashed into the back of another semi, according to the Iowa State Patrol. A chain reaction involving a van, a pickup truck and another semi followed.

Gordon Martens, 81, was driving the pickup with his wife Jill Martens, 79, as they headed home from their cabin in Clear Lake. Both were killed in the crash. A 35-year-old Clear Lake man driving the van was seriously injured, according to the crash report.

More:Tractor-trailer driver in fatal Story County crash involved in similar crashes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, records show

Both suits, one filed by the Martenses’ estate and another by the man from Clear Lake, were filed in April and name Rewitzer and Ramler Trucking Co., the Minnesota-based trucking company he was hauling cargo for at the time of the crash, as defendants.

“The conduct of defendants … constituted willful, malicious, wanton, reckless and gross disregard for the safety, welfare and interests of Gordon and Jill Martens and all persons lawfully traveling on the highways and roads of the state of Iowa,” the Martenses ‘ suit said.

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