While working on my computer in the early evening of December 15th I (Rich) heard a loud crash from nearby 30th Street Drive and felt the cabin shudder. My first reation was, must be a car-deer collision. Grabbing my flashlight, I dashed out and found two mangled cars. A head-on collision.

Fearing casualties, I was quickly relieved to find one driver and her small child standing by the car shaken and apparently uninjured. The driver of the other car had a small leg wound that didn’t seem to need immediate attention. After calling 911, I directed traffic away from the smashed cars and rattled people.

Witnessing Tax Dollars At Work

Soon, the Marion Fire Department, a Linn County Deputy Sheriff, and the Area Ambulance Agency arrived. My role switched to being an observer. I was pleased to watch about a dozen people from three agencies coordinate rescue and clean up.  One agency parked the firetruck across the road to prevent other drivers from coming through.  Others gave immediate attention to the people involved and examined and assessed the cars and situation. As others tended to the people one man swept up the debris and spilled antifreeze, while another took photos, and others continued to direct traffic.

It was well done. Our Tax Dollars at work! I have heard nothing since but hope the people involved in the accident are OK.

Here are my takeaways:

  • Airbags and seat belts are lifesavers. The airbags in both cars inflated almost instantly.
  • I believe the child had been securely strapped in a car seat in the back seat……..another lifesaver.
  • Emergency responders are well-trained, fast, and coordinate perfectly with first responders from other supporting agencies.
  • Traffic laws have a reason. Drive the speed limit or a tad slower.  Pay attention.  Buckle up.


Thanks, first responders!