Iowa State University


John McCarroll, University Relations, (515) 294-6136
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


This morning at approximately 8 a.m., a van with Iowa State students and pulling a trailer carrying the ISU solar car was involved in an accident on Interstate 335, approximately six miles south of Topeka, Kansas. The van was carrying 10 Iowa State students when it experienced difficulties and swerved off the road and ran into a fence and trees.

All of the Iowa State students in the van were admitted to two hospitals in the Topeka area -- St. Francis Hospital and Stormont Vail Regional Medical Center. The five students brought to St. Francis were treated and released. The five at Stormont are in emergency care and their situations are being evaluated. Stormont officials have said that there are "no life threatening situations" for the Iowa State students.

The students were driving back to Ames after competing in qualifiers for Sunrayce 97, a biennial solar car race. The qualifiers were held in Mesa, Ariz. There was a two-vehicle caravan, a Winnebago with eight students was traveling ahead of the van. The Winnebego was not involved in the accident.

Kansas University officials have offered to provide lodging and transportation for the Iowa State students. An Iowa State University College of Engineering official is traveling to Topeka to help the students make arrangements for their return. The students have said that they will likely stay in the Topeka area for the remainder of today.

The students are part of Team PrIUSm, which designs, builds and races solar cars.

Family notification is being made by Iowa State's Dean of Student Affairs.

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Diana Pounds, University Relations,
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Revised 4/29/97