No Charges Filed in Deadly Pella Walmart Crash


Pickup truck plows into Pella Walmart.

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PELLA, Iowa – No charges will be filed against the driver of a pickup truck that slammed into the Pella Walmart, killing three people back in December.

Marion County Attorney Ed Bull released a statement Thursday morning saying Dennis Mockenhaupt would not be charged. The release says, in part, “The exact reasons for the acceleration are unknown; however, all evidence indicates that Mockenhaupt had a medical condition that caused him to briefly lose consciousness, unintentionally accelerate and crash into the building.”

Testing showed that neither drugs, nor alcohol, were a contributing factor in the collision.

Three people were killed when Mockenhaupt’s Ford F-150 truck plowed through the front doors of the Pella Walmart and into the produce section.

Four people inside the store were hit by the truck and three of them died. Walmart employees Carrie Zugg and Lindsey Rietveld were killed along with shopper Ruth Jean DeJong. Robert DeJong was injured.

Bull said, “Words cannot adequately convey the horrific nature of these events, nor can they comfort the families who lost loved ones. It is unlikely that anyone will ever know precisely why Dennis Craig Mockenhaupt briefly lost consciousness and unintentionally accelerated into the Pella Walmart. There is, however, no evidence to support a conclusion that Mockenhaupt intentionally or recklessly caused this collision or that he intentionally or recklessly caused the deaths. There is no evidence that the profoundly tragic collision of December 1, 2016, was the result of criminal conduct.”

Read the entire press release here.


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