It's a parent's worst nightmare: planning and attending the funeral of their child. That's what Brad and Heather Bigler of Marshall are facing after the death of their five-month old son, Drake, who was killed in a car crash Saturday night near Starbuck that left Brad Bigler and his wife's grandmother in critical condition.
The Minnesota State Patrol said Heather Bigler tried to swerve out of the way of an oncoming car that had swerved into her lane. It's a tragic incident, to say the least, and even Heather Bigler's best efforts to get out of the way and avoid the crash, sadly, were to no avail.
A day later, there was another head-on collision in Pipestone County that took the life of a Pipestone woman.
These two crashes quickly became chapters in a sad summer story.
The 99 traffic deaths in Minnesota as of May were a 6 percent decrease from 2011 at the same time, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety, but the summer months have told a different story.
In this area alone, there have been five fatal crashes in the last four months - Sunday's crash near Holland, one on U.S. Highway 59 south of Marshall in April, two on Minnesota Highway 23 near Cottonwood in June and one in Redwood County on July 24.
There was another crash in Murray County in May that left five people injured.
People often associate traffic deaths with bad weather, icy road conditions, but the truth of the matter is during the spring and summer months there are simply more people out on the road, which means more traffic and an increased likelihood that something tragic will happen.
No matter the season, crashes on the highway are inevitable, but let these incidents serve as a reminder to always be careful on the road, no matter how good of a driver you think you are. You might just be the most careful driver in the world, but when it comes to others on the road, you have no control.
And to parents, take this as an opportunity to talk to the young drivers in your home about safety behind the wheel. Have the speeding talk with them. Have the drinking and driving talk with them. Have the texting while driving talk with them. Have the seatbelt talk with them.
These conversations should never get old.