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Names Released In Pennington County Fatal Crash

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021

CONTACT: Tony Mangan, Public Information Officer, 605-280-5648


Names Released In Pennington County Fatal Crash


What:    Two-Vehicle Crash

Where:  South Dakota Highway 79, mile marker 69

              Five miles south of Rapid City, S.D.

When:   1:16 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021


Driver No. 1: Mark Cook, Jr., Rapid City, S.D., 31, Fatal Injuries

Passenger: Kayla Hamer, 30, Rapid City, S.D., Fatal Injuries

                    Male, 5, Rapid City, S.D., Life Threatening Injuries

Vehicle: 2018 Kia Niro


Driver No. 2: Megan Walker, 16, Oral, S.D., Minor Injuries

Passenger: Female, 14, Oral, S.D., No Injuries

Vehicle: 2012 GMC Yukon



RAPID CITY, S.D. – Two Rapid City adults have been identified as those who died in a two-vehicle crash that occurred Sunday afternoon south of Rapid City.


Preliminary crash information indicates that a 2018 Kia Niro had stopped at the stop sign at the intersection of Upper Spring Creek Road and South Dakota Highway 79. The Kia drove into the intersection where it collided with a 2012 GMC Yukon which was southbound on Highway 79.


Both front-seat occupants in the Kia were pronounced dead at the scene. They were Mark Cook, Jr., the 31-year-old driver, and Kayla Hamer, the 30-year-old passenger. A five-year-old male passenger in the backseat sustained life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to a Rapid City hospital. The two adults were wearing seat belts. The seat belt use of the juvenile is under investigation.


Megan Walker of Oral, S.D, the 16-year-old driver of the Yukon, suffered minor injuries and was transported to a Rapid City hospital. The 14-year-old female passenger was not injured. Both were wearing seat belts.


South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. All information released so far is only preliminary.


The Highway Patrol is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.




Note: Records of state-reportable crashes are now available at http://www.safesd.gov/  Records should be available about 10 days after the investigation is complete.