OPINION

From the Editor’s Desk Love is needed to get through tragedy in rural Maxwell

Marlys Barker

When the press release arrived on my desk last Friday, Aug. 14, my stomach sank, and my heart was heavy. A 33-year-old man killed in a two-car collision. A 15-year-old driver in the other car was going to football practice on a school permit. Neither party meant the other any harm. The two simply crossed paths at the wrong time in the rural Maxwell area at an unmarked intersection.

The 15-year-old driver and a passenger in his car, also 15, suffered no life-threatening injuries. The 33-year-old man, a husband and the father of five small children, lost his life.

I thought back to several recent things in my own life.

First, I thought about when my son was involved in an accident just after receiving his license. It was the worst night of my life, even though no one was injured. Knowing my child was involved in an accident was an awful experience. It shakes you to the very core, probably because it reminds you that anything can happen, and sometimes it does.

Second, I just recently stopped at an unmarked rural intersection, because the corn was too high to see. One of my children was with me and said, “Why are you stopping?” I said, “Because I can’t fully see in either direction. When the corn is this high, it is just better to stop.”

The high corn very likely played a part in this particular accident, even though, as I write this, the investigation results haven’t yet been released. But whether or not the corn was the main factor or a contributing factor, the mother in me, who is raising three kids of similar age, feels total compassion for the parents of this 15-year-old driver and for the driver himself. I would have to imagine this boy has shed many tears, as have his parents. This is a child who needs a huge amount of support to get past a moment that he will never forget. I pray that this family and child get the support and help they need, and that the community is there to comfort them.

For the family of the man who died, Jacob Myers, my heart is also heavy. Here’s a parent who won’t see his children grow up, and children whose father won’t be there to raise them. A memorial fund has been set up, and his graduating Collins-Maxwell class, the Class of 2000, is helping to collect the funds as a way to support his family. With five very young children, Jacob’s wife will need all the support she can get at this time and in the future. From what I saw through social media, there appeared to be an outpouring of generosity in meals and other things for this mother and her children from the close-knit community. Certainly, they need that support right now.

Both sides of this tragedy need to feel the love of their friends, family and community.

Ian McMullan, pastor at the Maxwell Presbyterian Church, posted from 2 Thessalonians 3:16: In times of extreme tragedy, we pray… “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.”

To that, I say, Amen.

(Marlys Barker is editor of the Tri-County Times and Nevada Journal.)