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SMITH, Douglas R.: Died 1978


Posted By: Volunteer: Sherri
Date: 9/2/2022 at 19:19:49

Fairfield Ledger

Area man dies in cycle crash

Douglas R. Smith, 24, Rural Brighton, was fatally injured about 3 p.m. Friday when he was thrown from a three-wheel motorcycle.

The accident took place a short distance from the site for the "Spirit of 1978 a gospel festival 1 1/2 miles southwest of Fairfield, scheduled to open today and continue through Sunday.

Dr. C.F. Watson, county medical examiner, said an autopsy was performed this morning but the exact cause of death had not yet been determined.

Smith was operating a 3-wheel Honda 90 All Terrain Cycle with balloon tires.

Officers said at the time of the accident his vehicle was traveling on the top of one of many hills and slopes in the area. Just as it started over the brow of the hill and down a relatively steep slope the cycle's front wheel fell into a deep furrow stopping it abruptly. The rider was thrown over the handlebars and landed 10 to 12 feet out in front.

Despite his injuries Smith dragged himself down the slope, a distance of approximately 130 feet where his body was found.

When Smith failed to return to the stage area at the Festival site, Egli mounted another cycle similar to the one Smith had been operating and began to search for him. He first spotted Smith's cycle on the hill and that led him to Smith.

Egli and two employees at the site, Alan Shofner, Fairfield, and Steve Hektoen, Route 1, Birmingham, administered emergency treatment but the victim failed to respond.

The accident site was far remote from any roads and because of the steep hills and gullies it could not be reached by ambulance. The stretcher had to be carried some distance and across a gully to reach the nearest point where a vehicle could travel.

The accident was investigated by a state trooper and a deputy from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

One of the employees said Smith was not working at the site but was enjoying an afternoon with the group.

A special tribute to Smith is planned tonight at 9 o'clock as part of the festival program.

Smith was badly injured in an automobile accident in June 1075 which left him crippled in both legs. Since then he has spent a great deal of time in hospitals and the Craig Rehabilitation Center in Englewood, Colo.

Before going to the Rehabilitation Center he was a patient in University Hospital at Iowa City for a number of weeks.

He was formerly employed at Condon Grain and Feed and also at Crane and Monorail Systems Division of Acco before his injuries resulting from the traffic accident in June, 1975.

He had been employed by Earthborn Construction Co. since June, 1976. Smith was a member of the Hope Lutheran Church.

In addition to his parents he is survived by a brother, Harold J. Smith, Brighton; his former wife, Audry K. Smith, now a resident of Henderson, Nev.; and his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Rebling, Sr., Brighton.
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Ottumwa, Iowa, Saturday, July 22, 1978

Brighton man killed near Fairfield

FAIRFIELD - Douglas R. Smith, 24, of Brighton died Friday afternoon in a three-wheel motorcycle accident at the gospel music festival south of Fairfield on the old Libertyville Road.

Smith, who had been confined to a wheelchair since a serious injury automobile accident in June 1975, was riding the special motorcycle when it apparently hit a rut in the road and he was thrown out, Jefferson County Sheriff's officers said.

Officers said the mishap was believed to be accidental. An autopsy was to be performed this morning to determine the cause of death.

Born Feb. 4, 1954, at Fairfield, he was the son of Ralph and Evelyn Rebling Smith. He graduated from Fairfield High School in 1972 and attended Muscatine Community College for one year.

He worked for the Condon Feed and Grain Co. and the Occo(Acco) Louden Division in Fairfield. After being disabled by a 1975 car accident, he had been employed by the Earthborn Reconstruction Co. in Fairfield since June, 1976.

He was a member of the Hope Lutheran Church.

Survivors: his parents, brother Harold J. Smith of Brighton, former wife Audrey Smith of Henderon(Henderson), Nev., and grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Harold Rebling of Brighton.

Services: Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., at the Hope Lutheran Church, with the Rev. Robert Barker officiating. Burial: Hope Lutheran Church cemetery. Memorials: sent to the family for religious ministry. Visitation: Behner Funeral Home in Fairfield from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday.

(Transcribed for genealogical purposes only. I am of no relation.)


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