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South Dakota authorities confirm Lander boy's death in Friday automobile accident

Jun 21, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

A Lander boy died and four others were seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash in South Dakota, according to South Dakota officials.

Terry Woster, public information officer for the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, said Aiden Gabriel EagleRoad, 5, suffered fatal injuries after his family's 2004 Toyota Rav4 crashed at 4:50 p.m. Friday, June 15, on U.S. Highway 18 about two miles east of Vetal, S.D.

The child and four adults involved in the incident, all of Lander, were not wearing seat belts.

Woster said the boy's father, Casey EagleRoad, 28, was traveling westbound when the vehicle drifted off the roadway onto the north shoulder.

"The vehicle struck a field approach and became airborne," Woster said. "The vehicle tumbled end-over-end upon striking the ground."

Casey EagleRoad reportedly told police he had fallen asleep behind the wheel.

Aiden EagleRoad, Woster said, was partially ejected.

The four others suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.

The boy's mother, Nicole EagleRoad, 28, was ejected from the vehicle. She and the other two occupants, Stephanie Haukaas, 26, and Unique Lopez-Lopez, 18, required transport to the Bennett County Hospital for their injuries.

Woster said alcohol was not a contributing factor in the fatal crash.

The incident remains under investigation by the South Dakota Highway Patrol with assistance of the Bennett County Sheriff's Office.

According to an obituary provided by the family, Aiden was a student at North Elementary School in Lander who enjoyed baseball, t-ball, hunting, fishing and camping with his dad and grandpa.

An evening service and wake will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 21, at the family's residence, 433 N. Third St., in Lander.

Traditional Indian Funeral Services are set for 1 p.m. Friday, June 22, also at the family's home.

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