UPDATE: Driver in fatal Sheldahl accident identified by police

A man who passed away Tuesday after an apparent medical emergency while in the town of Sheldahl has been identified by authorities.

According to Story County Sheriff’s Office Captain Nicholas Lennie, the deceased has been identified as 43-year-old Joel Potter of Des Moines.

Potter was driving a white 2018 Isuzu X6 box truck at the time of the accident. He had reportedly delivered bulk mail to the Sheldahl post office for sorting and further delivery, part of his job as a contractor with the United States Postal Service, prior to the incident.

Shortly before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, first responders were called to a ditch near the intersection of Boone Street and North Street in Sheldahl on a call of an unconscious man. Deputies were told that the driver had been having trouble breathing before departing the most recent stop on his route.

Just moments after leaving the Sheldahl Post Office, the box truck was seen nearly coming to a complete stop in the middle of the road before accelerating off the road. Potter is said to have entered a ditch, drove through the corner of a garage, struck a tree and storage shed, and eventually came to rest in another ditch.

When Story County medical personnel arrived on-scene, Polk County first responders were already attempting CPR, according to a report.

An exact cause of death is still unknown.

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