The parents of a Charles City man who was killed in a motorcycle accident near Floyd in 2016 have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the state of Iowa and Iowa Department of Transportation for negligence in the design of an intersection on Avenue of the Saints.
Thomas and Diane Houdek filed the suit Dec. 21, claiming the state and Iowa DOT is responsible for “negligent design and gross negligence if its employees in administering this intersection that caused the death of our son.” T.J. Houdek, 23, was traveling from Quarry Road and entering Highway 18 northbound on his Harley-Davidson on July 18, 2016, when his motorcycle and a semi collided. Houdek died at the scene, and the semi rolled, injuring the trucker. The Houdek family filed the suit after another fatal crash Dec. 19 at the intersection of Highway 18 and Quarry Road near Floyd. Troy Reams, 40, of Greene, was driving a 2017 Ford Fusion at about 5:30 a.m. eastbound on Highway 18 when it rear ended a semi. Reams was pronounced dead at the scene. After T.J. Houdek’s death in 2016, local residents started an online petition to the DOT and spoke out at meetings about the intersection. Residents asked for an overpass and a project was approved. According to the Iowa DOT, the intersection will be re-designed and will feature an added overpass. However work may not start until 2022 and the project is expected to take several years after that.
“We call again for the immediate reduction of speed and the placement of a warning signs (sic),” the family said in a release. The family cited the Highway 330/65 intersection in Jasper County which is similar to the Floyd intersection. In Jasper County, there is an orange sign that reads “Intersection ahead/Multiple fatalities/Use caution.” The Houdek’s believe the speed on Highway 27 should be reduced to 45 mph or less along with more road surface marks, like paint, altering drivers of the speed limit and preventing drivers from changing lanes. “No one needs to face a tragedy over this trap and everyone needs to be warned about this dangerous intersection,” the release said.
The Houdek’s attorney, David Skilton, stated that the DOT failed to design an intersection that was “safe and free of design defects.” Skilton claims the DOT failed to warn the public of the dangers of the intersection and failed to post signs informing drivers of the dangerous intersection. “Instead of warning the public, the signage that was present gave a false impression that the intersection was normal and customary, which it was not,” the suit said. The suit also called the intersection “a trap for the public.” The suit further claims that the state knew the intersection was dangerous and did nothing about it. The state has not responded to the suit. The Houdak's are demanding a jury trial. No court date has been set. Photos: Buckle up, drive safe - 101 North Iowa crashes
Fatality accident on Hwy 18 at Rockford
Rescue personnel attend to persons injured in an accident at the intersection of 19th and S. Eisenhower. The accident involved a State Patrol car and a pickup.
Accident at 122 and Eisenhower
Mason City Police and Fire personnel search the Winnebago river after a car lost control on Birch Drive behind Mason City High School.
Mason City firefighters work to remove an injured driver from a car involved in an accident at 15th and South Federal Ave.
Late night fatal
An Iowa State Patrol trooper and Mason City Police investigate the scene of a car-motorcycle accident at Highway 122 and Country Circle.
Accident on the east end of 15th Street Southeast in the Stone Pillar addition.
Mitchell Co fatal
One person died in a two-car accident at the Highway 9 and Foothill Avenue intersection in Mitchell County.
Remains of a multiple-vehicle pile up on Interstate 35 in Franklin County, Iowa, litter the median on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010, near Alexander, Iowa. At least one person was killed in the storm-related accident.
Mason City firefighters wash blood from the scene of a motorcycle accident on S. Delaware Avenue near Southbridge Mall at about 2 a.m.
Highway 65 accident
Mason City firefighters work to remove injured people from a car involved in a fatal accident with a grain truck on the south edge of the Highway 65-Ave. of the Saints interchange.
A few wrecked vehicles remain at Dudley's Corner at Highway 3 and I-35 leftover from the multi-vehicle accident on I-35 near Latimer that killed one person.
I-35 roll over
Iowa State Patrol troopers investigate a rollover accident on I-35 about 2 miles north of Clear Lake.
A multi-vehicle pile up in the southbound lane of Highway 65 one mile south of Mason City.
Emergency rescue personnel search ditches and a corn field on Thrush Avenue near Plymouth on Monday night following a single-vehicle accident.
Emergency crews responded to a rollover accident on I-35 Wednesday afternoon.
Motorists stop to check on the welfare of an accident victim along Highway 64 near New Hampton on Sunday.
Mason City police officers investigate the accident scene in front of 224 South Virginia Ave. Sunday morning.
A firefighter pulls back a hose as flames errupt again as a result of a freight train colliding with a tanker truck at the North 20th Street railroad crossing in Clear Lake,.
Crews from St. Ansgar and Stacyville came to the aid of Casey Jo Bissen, 18, of rural Stacyville Monday morning when her car was struck by an eastbound train at the rail crossing of Kirkwood Avenue, two miles west of Stacyville.
Truck accident 2 miles southeast of Plymouth on Tulip Ave.
Injured driver removed from pickup truck involved in a 2-vehicle accident 2 miles north of Rockwell.
Rescue personnel work to recover a vehicle from a drainage culvert west of Fertile. One person was killed in the accident.
A helicopter from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, arrives at the scene of an accident on I-35 north of Clear Lake.
Accident I-35 north of Clear Lake
NIACC students and faculty look at the scene of a car accident on the school's campus.
An accident involving two semis blocked traffic on the Avenue of the Saints east of I-35.
An accident at the intersection of Highway 65 and 320th Street.
A rollover accident on Highway 122 in Mason City.
Accident CL 4th Ave S.
Law enforcement investigates the scene of a fatal accident at 180th and Quail Avenue North of Rockwell.
A firefighter and a witness comfort one of the two victims of a one car rollover accident at 12th and North Pierce Avenue in Mason City.
Police investigate an accident in the 1100 block of North Pennsylvania Avenue in Mason City.
Accident at the intersection of 20th and S. Pennsylvania Ave. Mason City
Rescue workers carry a person involved in an accident on S56 morning.
Accident 2 miles north of Grafton.
Motorcycle accident on I-35
Multiple vehicle accident at the intersection of U.S. Highway 18 and South Eisenhower Ave.
Two people were killed on Highway 18 between Garner and Ventura.
Accident on South Federal
Tow car accident at the intersection of HWY 65 and County Road B20.
Accident under bridge on westbound lane of Highway 18 and Highway 65.
One car accident twomiles south of Highway 9 on County Road B62 north of Rock Falls.
The Mercy Air Life helicopter takes off from the scene of an accident five miles east of Forest City.
Mason City firefighters and police officers look over the scene of a 2-vehicle accident at the corner of 15th Street Southeast and South Federal Avenue.
Six car accident on 122 between Monroe and 2nd SW heading East.
City workers set up barricades along North Federal after a two vehicle accident.
Accident at the intersection of Fir Av and Highway 9 Wednesday.
An injured person is removed from a vehicle involved in a 2-vehicle accident at the intersection of 12th Street N.W. and North Eisenhower Ave. Tuesday afternoon in Mason City.
Roll over accident on Highway 65 north of Mason City.
Two-vehicle accident at the Highway 122 and South Kentucky intersection.
Emergency responders from Rockwell check an auto that rolled on Highway 65, near 190th Street. One person was injured in the two vehicle accident.
Accident at 22nd and South Federal Avenue.
Accident at the 9th St. SE and S. Eisenhower intersection.
Two-vehicle accident at 19th and South Federal Avenue.
Two vehicle accident at 19th Street Southwest and South Benjamin Ave. in Mason City.
Fireman and paramedics try to extract two people from a pick-up truck that was struck by a semi on county road B20 and north Eisenhower.
Rescue workers prepare to remove a person injured in a two-vehicle accident at the B20 and Killdeer Ave. intersection.
Mason City Police officers investigate a car-semi accident at the corner of Thirty-fifth Street Southeast and South Federal Avenue.
Accident Highway 106
Fatal Accident Highway 3
DOT accident on I-35
Forest City accident
Forest City fire fighters at the scene of a school bus-car accident.
Mason City Fire Dept. paramedics work to remove a person injured in a two-vehicle accident.
2 vehicle accident
Two vehicle accident at the entrance to Willowbrook Mall
Accident at the intersection of HWY 9 and Warbler in Worth County.
Accident I-35 North of Clear Lake
The Mason City Police Department on Monday released this photo of the Jeep Liberty involved in the crash that killed five young Mason City residents April 10, 2017.
At least one person was injured in a rollover accident on Highway 122.
Rockwell Accident 2
Cerro Gordo County Deputies and Iowa State Troopers investigate a two-vehicle-crash at the intersection of 120th Street and Quail Avenue south of Rockwell.
Two people were killed in a two-vehicle crash at 390th Street and Thrush Avenue in rural Worth County.
Police investigate an accident involving a motorcycle at the intersection of North Pierce Avenue in Mason City.
Mason City police officer Victor Hewett is shown in a file photo at a fatal crash on Nov. 22, 2014, in Mason City. Jefferson Davis Sr., who was operating the motorcycle, was killed. A passenger on the bike, Nicole Shariff, is suing the Willow Run Lounge, the bar she alleges served alcohol to Victor Rivera, the driver of the pickup that collided with the motorcycle.
Mercy Air Med transports a crash victim from a rollover accident on Highway 65 near Kensett on Thursday.
Interstate 35 Accident
Emergency crews overlook a vehicle involved in a rollover accident on southbound Interstate 35 at mile marker 187 near Clear Lake.
Emergency responders help a man injured when a motorcycle and pickup collided on U.S. Highway 69 in Forest City.
Thrush Ave. rollover
Cerro Gordo County Sheriff's deputies and an Iowa State Patrol trooper investigate a rollover accident.
Worth County accident
Firefighters and medics work at the scene of an accident at the intersection of Highway 9 and Warbler Avenue in Worth County.
Firefighters work at the scene of a one-car crash on Highway 65 north of Mason City.
Fatal accident east of Mason City.
Police say one person was killed in a two-vehicle crash in Mason City on 19th Street Southwest near South Eisenhower Avenue.
Nora Springs accident
One person was injured in a single-vehicle accident on the Avenue of the Saints near Nora Springs.
Mason City fire paramedics tend to a person injured in a two-vehicle accident at the Highway 122 & South Grover Ave. intersection.
One person was killed in an accident at 210th Street and Lark Avenue near Burchinal in Cerro Gordo County.
One person was confirmed dead as rescue personnel worked to extricate another at an accident near the Nora Springs exit of the Avenue of the Saints.
The Cerro Gordo County Sheriff's Department and Mason City Fire Department respond to a two-vehicle accident around 3 p.m. Thursday on B-20 near Mallard Avenue.
A car accident involving two vehicles on highway 65 just north of Rockwell.
Lake accident 1
Authorities work at the scene of a wreck on Highway 18 between Clear Lake and Ventura.
At least one person was injured in an accident near the intersection of 15th Street Southwest and Eisenhower Avenue in Mason City.
Mason City firefighters and police work the scene of a two-vehicle accident in Mason City.
Authorities investigate an accident scene in Osage.
Four people were hurt in a head-on collision in Charles City on Dec. 20, 2016.
Clear Lake Crash 2
Clear Lake firefighters work at the scene of an accident at North 20th Street and Highway 18 in Clear Lake.
Avenue of the Saints crash at Lancer
Firefighters gather around a pickup and car involved in a fatal crash on the Avenue of the Saints at Lancer Avenue in rural Floyd.
Butler County man killed in Cedar Falls crash
Cedar Falls police and the Iowa State Patrol investigate the scene of a fatal motorcycle crash in Cedar Falls.
Crash on B-35 near Clear Lake on May 13, 2016
A tow truck driver prepares to haul away vehicles from a crash on B-35 at Lark Avenue.
At least one person was injured in a two-car crash at the intersection of 390th Street and Thrush Avenue in Worth County on May 12.
A damaged van in the east ditch of Mallard Avenue on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Deputies say the van collided with a semitrailer near 250th Street.
Highway 18 rollover on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016
Mason City firefighters worked at the scene of a rollover crash on U.S. Highway 18 Wednesday morning. Two people were hospitalized.
Mason City rescue personnel lift someone on a stretcher out of a ditch as two other passengers sit in the grass Wednesday after a rollover crash on 12th Street Northwest in Mason City.
Contact Courtney at 641-421-0534 or on Twitter @CourtneyFiorini.