by Jessica Daley
A van headed south on Highway 141 near Woodward rolled over before coming to a stop upright in the ditch around 3:45 p.m Tuesday.
Iowa State Patrol Trooper Matt Papin said the driver of the van, Nasir Ali, swerved to avoid a vehicle that was merging onto the highway from an entrance ramp.
Eleven people were in the van. Nine were taken to Des Moines area hospitals by ambulances and medical helicopters. Two are in the critical care unit. Investigators believe all of the seat belts were in use, but there were more people in the van than seat belts.
Ali said they were driving home to Des Moines from work at Tyson Foods in Perry. He said he drives Highway 141 every day. He made it out with just a few scratches on his arm. About two dozen other people who also work at Tyson Foods saw the accident and went to help.
Traffic was completely stopped on Highway 141 until about 5:00 p.m.
Papin said it is too early in the investigation to know if any charges or traffic violations will be issued.