3 cars damaged in chain-reaction crash


BROOKINGS – Possible injuries were reported in a three-vehicle, rear-end accident in the city Friday morning, according to a report from Brookings Police.

The accident was reported at 8:11 a.m. Friday and occurred on Eighth Street South at the intersection with Seventh Avenue South, according to the report.

Jesse Ronning, 43, of Brookings, was driving a 2013 Toyota Tundra double cab pick-up westbound in the 700 block of Eighth Street South, “coasting at a slower speed for the vehicles stopped in front of him,” according to the report. Ronning was going an estimated 15 mph in a 35 mph zone. “(Ronning) stated he thought the vehicles in front of him started moving and there was a green light for east/west traffic.”

Rebecca Fiorito, 26, of Brookings, was driving a 2006 Chrysler Town & Country minivan with one passenger. Xiaoli Mao, 33, of Brookings, was driving a 2013 Ford Escape with one passenger. Both Fiorito and Mao were headed westbound.

“(Both Fiorito and Mao) advised the light for east/west traffic was red and they were stopped,” according to the report.

“(Ronning) stated he heard his phone ring and looked down to find his phone. When (Ronning) looked up, he attempted to (stop),” the report said.

Ronning’s Tundra struck Fiorito’s minivan in the rear. The minivan was pushed forward, and the minivan’s front bumper struck Mao’s Ford in the rear bumper, according to the report.

Failure to yield and the cell phone were listed as contributing circumstances in the accident report. No citations were issued.

Fiorito complained of right shoulder pain and stated her child had bumped their head. Jameson Ventura, 5, who was properly restrained in a child seat in the second row, was listed on the report as having a possible injury but was not transported.

An ambulance was called and checked Fiorito, who was advised she could also be seen by a doctor if she would like, according to the report.

Ronning’s Tundra sustained an estimated $1,500 in damage. Fiorito’s minivan sustained an estimated $3,100 in damage. Mao’s Escape sustained an estimated $1,200 in damage. None of the vehicles were towed, according to the report.

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