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Iowa woman loses unborn child, .......: Oct. 1986


Posted By: Volunteer: Sherri
Date: 10/12/2022 at 13:00:55

Oct. 1986
Courier editor

Iowa woman loses unborn child, but death not considered fatality

BONAPARTE - A pregnant woman is in a car accident, and her unborn child dies as a result.

Is the death considered a traffic fatality?

In Iowa, the answer is apparently "no," Van Buren County Sheriff Hugh Hardin discovered this week after facing that question in his county.

Tammy Twiss-Jennings, 20, Mount Pleasant lost her child two days after her car struck a bridge about two miles east of Bonaparte at 6:15 p.m. Friday.

Twiss-Jennings, who was eight months pregnant, was following her husband, Donald Jennings III, 22, on the gravel river road from Bonaparte to Farmington.

"She was going about 40 mph and lost control on the loose gravel," according to Jennings' grandfather, Donald Jennings Sr. of Mount Pleasant, with who the coupe is staying.

Twiss-Jennings was taken by ambulance to Van Buren County Memorial Hospital in Keosauqua and transferred to Ottumwa Regional Health Center in Ottumwa shortly thereafter.
Twiss-Jennings, the daughter of Chuck and Erma Twiss of Bonaparte, was not injured in the accident. But the baby - the couple's first - was stillborn at the Ottumwa hospital on Sunday.

"They think he strangled in blood," Jennings Sr. said. "There was a bruise on the back of his head. She'd just gone to the doctor on Wednesday, and the baby was perfect."

Information on the accident wasn't released until Tuesday because of questions about how to handle the baby's death, Van Buren County officials explained.

Sheriff Hardin said he called Sgt. John Wilson, and Iowa Highway Patrol technical investigator in Des Moines, to decide the question.

"He's probably the only authority in Iowa" who could provide the answer, the sheriff said.

Wilson "had to go to a reference book" before ruling that the death would not be considered a traffic fatality, Hardin said. "That's the way it's classified."

Jennings Sr. said a memorial service was held for the child, who the couple named Matthew Wayne, in Mount Pleasant on Tuesday morning.

The mother, who was discharge from the Ottumwa hospital on Sunday, was able to attend the service "even though she can't be up very long," Jennings Sr. Said.

"And they had the guts to give her a ticket for $33" for failure to control her vehicle, Jennings Sr. said. "She doesn't know about it. I've go it in my pocket. I'll pay it tomorrow."

Source: "Scrapbook 1986 - 1988", Pg. 290,
Keosauqua Public Library, Keosauqua, Van Buren Co., IA


Van Buren Documents maintained by Rich Lowe.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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