Williams, Madsen tell of problems following Flack River Farm event

~by Janice Harbaugh for GreeneCountyNewsOnline

Flack’s River Farm Recreation, south of Highway 30 on P-14, was the scene on Saturday of underage drinking and injuries as people left the farm, driving while intoxicated, in order to avoid the thunderstorm that appeared Saturday night.

One man, Ron Kolbeck, 60, of Jefferson died after striking Eureka bridge over the Raccoon River on County Road E-53 Saturday night. He was seen at River Farm Recreation.

The event was organized and produced by Iowa Chill as a recreation and entertainment opportunity and was hosted by Craig Flack as owner of Flack’s River Farm Recreation. Admission was charged to enter the event.

According to its Facebook page, Iowa Chill “specializes in promoting the people of Iowa, actively endorsing Midwestern values and bringing people together for memorable experiences.”

The annual all-day event features outdoor recreation, live bands, and food and beverages.

Sheriff Jack Williams described the gathering of well over 1,000 people to the Greene County board of supervisors Monday morning. “Problems began in the morning and continued until 3 am Sunday,” Williams reported.

Officers were called to the farm and medical services were needed throughout the day due to injuries and intoxication. “Underage drinkers were wearing wristbands (indicating that they were of age to drink),” Williams said. He reported there were five arrests involving intoxication and driving, and “we found alcohol in the trunks of cars.”

Thirteen people were arrested on various charges through the day and night. “Housing them used all our available room,” Williams said. “We had no officers free to transport them to other facilities.”

EMT Michelle Madsen was on ambulance duty. “It’s frustrating to pick up patients (from a situation like this),” she said.

Williams and Madsen described personnel trying to save a life using CPR Saturday evening after a car accident. Dispatch also received calls of  people “running down the highway in swimsuits” in other locations. The storm had prompted people to leave the River Farm and drive while still intoxicated. There were numerous car accidents.

Williams said he is discussing possible criminal charges with county attorney Thomas Laehn.  He later said other charges might be added after consultation with Laehn.

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