Sioux City woman charged with OWI in RAGBRAI crash

Sioux City woman charged with OWI in RAGBRAI crash

A Sioux City woman was arrested Sunday morning on suspicion of drunken driving after police said she ran into RAGBRAI riders from Wisconsin.

Charryse Chavez, 36, was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, no insurance, and failure to obey a police officer, said Sioux City Police Sgt. Jim Cunningham. It was a second OWI offense for Chavez, he said.

At about 6:20 a.m. Sunday, Cunningham said, a driver refused to obey a police officer who was controlling an intersection at Hamilton Boulevard and West Seventh Street, where RAGBRAI cyclists were riding through.

The driver pulled into the intersection and ran into a tandem bike ridden by a man and a woman, then drove away, police said. The driver was arrested about a block later, Cunningham said.

The bikers — Bruce and Barbara Blair of Hudson, Wis. — were taken to Mercy Medical Center. Cunningham said that the woman’s injuries were believed to be minor, and that the man possibly had a broken leg.

A hospital official said that Bruce Blair is in fair condition, and that Barbara Blair was treated and released.

“It’s a bad deal but it could have been a lot worse” with a larger group of riders riding through the intersection, Cunningham said.

A few other bike crashes were were reported in Sioux City, he said. At least 10,000 riders began their 468-mile trip across the state in the western Iowa city Sunday.