Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

February 14, 2012

Game canceled after Pella student’s death

Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — Tonight’s boys high school basketball contest in Centerville between the Centerville Big Reds and the Pella Little Dutch have been canceled due to a tragedy that struck Pella last night. The game will not be rescheduled. The senior night ceremony will now be held after the upcoming boys basketball district game on Monday, Feb. 20.

According to reports, Pella High School sophomore, Blake Van Vark, 16, was killed in a head-on collision Monday night when his Jeep Grand Cherokee lost control and crossed the center line approximately .5 miles west of Adams Ave. on Vermeer Rd. east of Pella and collided with a vehicle driven by Kenneth Swank, 60, of Pella. Swank refused transport to a medical facility. The accident occurred about 6:45 p.m. according to the Iowa State Patrol. Road conditions at the time were '100 percent ice-covered'.

The Pella Fire Dept., Pella EMS, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and the Iowa State Patrol all responded to the accident.

The accident remains under investigation and charges are pending.

Clint Brown of the Pella Chronicle and Kyle Ocker of the Centerville Daily Iowegian contributed to this report.