GARNER, Iowa – A thick layer of glare and black ice played a part in a deadly crash in north Iowa on Saturday.
The two car collision happened on county Road B-14.
19-year-old Tiffany Banta and her younger sister 15-year-old Chyann Banta were in a car traveling east. Their car lost control and crossed the center lane. It hit another car traveling westbound, driven by 68-year-old Steve Hanna. He was not able to avoid the eastbound car, and a broadside crash occurred. The two sisters were pronounced dead at the scene.
On Sunday, family and friends gathered to remember the two girls and to support each other through their time of grief.
Time is standing still as uncle’s Nate and Josh Banta are left wondering, why?
“They always wanted to hang out, like they did yesterday morning,” said Josh.
Tiffany and Chyann were two sisters who had a love of music, both country and pop, but most importantly, a love for spending time with one another.
While some questions like will never be answered for the Banta family, law enforcement on the scene said that there is no doubt that slick and icy conditions were to blame in this tragic accident.
“County roads around here, they’re always after the main roads get cleared,” Nate said, “so they we’re just totally slick.”
One firefighter on the scene, from the Forest City Fire Department, was encouraging drivers around the area to use gravel roads instead of county roads.
Feeling confident driving on slick roadways is never an easy task, and it’s something Nate believes you can never get used to.
“People have to relearn how to drive on it every year,” he said as Josh chimed in about Saturday’s accident, “I mean, you can chalk it up to a teenage driver, but it can happen to any of us, absolutely any one of us,” Josh said.
It was a unanimous belief for all today that no matter how good of a driver Tiffany Banta or Steve Hanna was, all it takes is one slick spot that you might not be expecting, to send you sliding across the road.
“Sliding on ice and whatnot, it’s not if it’s going to happen, it’s when it’s going to happen,” Nate said.
For the Banta’s, the ‘when’ in this situation came far too soon.