The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Thankful For Jogger

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

August 12, 2009

I couldn't believe it when I found out my nephew Brian Bell had borrowed a motorcycle Sunday and ended in a terrible wreck, was transported to Great River Medical Center in West Burlington, IA and airlifted him on to University Hospitals in Iowa City.

The scenario was the same as a year ago almost to the date as when Brian Hetrick of Stronghurst was found, only in Brian's case, he died the next day, August 18th. Hetrick's family and friends will be releasing balloons at the wreck sight near Dallas City at the time of his death late Tuesday afternoon in memory of him.

Both men were very familiar with riding motorcycles and usually wore protective gear, but on this ride, they chose not to wear a helmet. Having seen Brian Hetrick airlifted from Great River Medical Center last year and knowing the result did not make it any easier waiting for the results of my nephew Brian Bell. I know sometimes, the worst can happen. But when the news came late Monday evening that he was able to talk, I knew our families and many friends prayers had been answered.

Brian had been traveling on a gravel road off the Stronghurst-Carman road when he hit gravel and spun into a field or ravine of some sort and lay there through 100 degree heat and then Sunday evening's storm until 27 hours later.

Everyone is especially grateful to the lone jogger who we are all calling, Brian's Guardian Angel. He was compelled to take a different route than usual, he said, never jogging on this road. It was on his way back that he saw something red about 25-30 feet off the road.

Brian's wife, Julie was told that when the jogger arrived, Brian was responsive, but soon passed out, but he was intent on keeping Brian awake until the ambulance arrived. He was extremely dehydrated and in serious pain.

Our hearts go out to the family of Brian Hetrick as they look back at this time on their tragedy a year ago, and to Brian Bell, Julie, Cassidy, Dylan and Evan as they go through fighting for recovery from this awful tragedy.

We are especially thankful to Bill Zurmuehlen who we were told is the jogger, to Arbry Vancil who came along to help, the sheriff's department, ambulance crew, doctors and nurses and who are helped or continue to pray for Brian.