Today, we have two stories passing collisions.

Accident #1: Man Killed in Collision with Field Sprayer

Thomas Griffin, 37, of Waterloo, was travelling eastbound on C49, apparently following behind another vehicle. As he left his lane to pass, he struck a 2014 Terrogator Field Sprayer, traveling westbound, driven by Aaron Orwig, also 37. Griffin was pronounced dead at the scene, and Orwig was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Accident #2: Man Killed in Motorcycle Accident in Johnson County

A man was killed in a motorcycle crash in Johnson County on Friday, May 20th at around 7:05 pm. Kevin Miller of Calona was riding his motorcycle northbound on Sharon Center Road when he left his lane and collided with a minivan. Both vehicles subsequently caught fire. Miller was pronounced dead at the scene. There were no other injuries reported in the incident.

These two accident sequences we’ve seen many times before. These are the same kinds of accidents Governor Branstad’s son was involved in 1991 that killed two other people. Link 1. Link 2.

There are times of the year when head-on passing collisions are at a higher risk. Seasonal changes in farm field-work bring out the larger pieces of field-equipment; equipment that moves slower, is larger and takes up a lot more road than what we normally expect to see. I can’t say in this instance that the Terrogator had anything to do with why this head-on collision occurring because this one may have been caused by the driver’s impatience or his failing to creep out, look and make sure the lane was clear before hitting the gas pedal and zooming ahead to pass.

We are all in a hurry to get to the next stop in our busy lives. We seem unable or unwilling to slow down and give the person in front of us more time and a little extra room. Courtesy at times seems like a thing of the past; well, it isn’t forgotten. Just this past week a lady working behind the counter at Barnes & Noble was a little slower than the other younger clerks thought she should be. I watched their impatience with the time it took her figure out how to renew my membership card. Here is the odd thing about it. I wasn’t, I wasn’t anxious or impatient with her and the extra time it was taking. And, at least in my mind, it wasn’t extra time; it was simply a minute in my life. And those minutes weren’t “extra time”, they were simply a few minutes of my life. And what about this older retired woman, working part-time as a clerk versus the younger quicker clerks. As an employee, I would rather deal with her with the qualities she brings to the table. After all she had more life experience, a desire to work at this job, a love for books and a pleasant personality. She is different than the “what-ever” generation.

And so in the end drivers need to be patient and enjoy the Iowa countryside. Perhaps in this instance the two drivers who were attempting to pass might still be alive had they just been willing to be more patient.

Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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