Trucker Has A History Of House Hunting

Linn County, Iowa – Late Monday afternoon a tractor-trailer left a farmhouse off of County Home Road in Linn County, Iowa, in shambles after it crashed into the home. The semi struck a propane tank and punctured it setting off a blaze, authorities said. Since initially reporting this incident, Transportation Nation Network has learned the truck driver James R. Ward, 70 of Center Junction, IA, has experience crashing into houses. Yep, he’s actually done this before. In fact, in the past 16 years Mr. Ward has been cited five times in Iowa for failure to maintain control. Two of those citations were issued in connection with accidents involving collisions with houses.

Original Report: Semi Crashes Into Farmhouse Setting Off Propane Explosion

Court records reveal that on Nov. 24, 2002 Ward was cited for failure to control a vehicle in Clinton County. The Quad City Times reported Ward crashed a semi-truck loaded with corn into the first-floor bedroom of the a home owned by Violet “Vickie” Washburn and her husband, Newman Washburn.

Here is another photo from the aftermath of the 2002 crash courtesy of



Violet Washburn told the Quad City Times she was talking on the phone in the kitchen and her husband was napping when Ward’s tractor-trailer came crashing through the bedroom where Newman Washburn was sleeping that day. The impact did major damage to the home even knocking it off its foundation.


Mr. Ward may well be the luckiest driver we’ve seen because in both incidents no one was killed. Amazingly, no one was hurt at all in either crash except for Ward. The Linn County Sheriff’s Office said Ward sustained minor injuries in the crash that occurred earlier this week. Let’s remind you of the scene.


Courtesy of KCRG


Son of Violent and Newman Washburn, David Washburn, recalled Mr. Ward’s explanation to him shortly after crashing into his parent’s home in 2002. “He remembers driving on the road and the next thing he knew, he was awake, lying on the floor of his cab and the truck had hit the house,” Washburn said Ward told him.

Mr. Ward had a very similar explanation this week when the resident of the home he plowed into, Michelle Burke, questioned him at the scene. She says Mr. Ward told her he “blacked out” and didn’t remember what happened.

Transportation Nation Network will continue to follow this story and bring you any important developments.

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