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A tragic, terrible loss for our community

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Liberty Belle

Well-known member
Feb 10, 2005
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northwestern South Dakota
Communities reeling after deadly accident
By LAUREN DONOVAN, Bismarck Tribune

Three is not a big number, unless it counts the lives of three young men, ended so long before their fair share of days.

People in Slope and Bowman counties count heavy losses after a fatal accident that claimed three of their own Monday. In a sparsely populated place like Slope County, they count the loss extra for what it steals from the community's future.

A head-on accident up on Highway 85, north of Fairfield, early Monday morning killed two brothers and their good friend. A fourth person died Tuesday -- the other driver, a man hauling a tanker of crude oil up the same highway.
The victims from one vehicle are brothers Justin Jacobson, 25, and Casey Jacobson, 19, of rural Amidon, and friend Brandon Klein, 20, of Bowman. The three were pronounced dead at the scene.

Don Tucker, 46, of Grassy Butte, died Tuesday at a St. Paul, Minn., burn hospital.

The three young men, who wrestled and rodeoed together while growing up, will be remembered in a joint memorial service at 1 p.m. MDT Friday at the outdoor North Winds rodeo arena in Bowman.

Services for Klein are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. MDT Thursday at St. Charles Catholic Church in Bowman. Burial will follow in the St. Charles Catholic Cemetery. Further arrangements for Justin and Casey Jacobson are pending with Ladbury Funeral Service, Dickinson. Arrangements for Tucker also are pending with Ladbury.

The accident occurred at about 12:30 a.m. MDT, when a 1999 Cadillac driven by Ryan Jacobson, 21, veered out of the southbound lane. It collided with the tanker that had filled at an oil well site near Fairfield and was heading out.

The force of the collision sent the Jacobson vehicle spinning into the east ditch. The tanker -- a truck and pup tank -- jackknifed on the highway and became engulfed in a hot, fierce oil fire that burned for six hours and detoured traffic until morning.

Tucker apparently was able to escape the truck on his own, but succumbed to his injuries Tuesday.

Ryan Jacobson was taken to the Dickinson hospital for critical care and has been transferred to a Bismarck hospital.

The three Jacobson brothers and Klein all were Bowman High School wrestlers, all competing and placing in state wrestling tournaments. All rode saddle bronc during the summer and -- particularly the Jacobsons -- were reputable bronc riders.

The four were returning from a long day at the White Earth rodeo, near Tioga, when it appears Ryan Jacobson may have dozed off, Highway Patrol Capt. Tony Huck said.

Casey Jacobson was ejected from the Cadillac. Neither he nor Ryan Jacobson were wearing seatbelts. Justin Jacobson and Brandon Klein were belted in, the Highway Patrol said.

Huck said details remain under investigation.

Tucker was driving a truck leased by Diamond B, a well service operation based in Plentywood, Mont.

Company president Steve Bowman said he couldn't talk about the accident, except to say it was a "terrible, terrible tragedy" for the driver and the young men's families.

Back in Slope and Bowman counties, people are still trying to make sense of it all.

"It's a shock to lose this many young kids all at once like this," former Bowman wrestling coach Ryan Moser said.

He said the Jacobson brothers and Klein were hard-working wrestlers, the youngest three part of a very close unit. He said they were typical kids and did all of the things boys do, "good and bad. They always gave 100 percent."

Pat Lorge, of Amidon, is a good friend of both families.

"These kids grew up with our kids," Lorge said. "It's like one big family."

Justin Jacobson, the oldest, had completed college and returned to take over an uncle's ranch. Klein, the son of Bruce and Connie Klein, was a student at Jamestown College. Ryan Jacobson is a student at North Dakota State University at Fargo, and Casey Jacobson had been at community college in Glendive, Mont.

Lorge said the loss of Justin and Casey Jacobson will bear down hard on the Slope County rural neighborhood, where the Jacobsons have ranched for generations.

"It's a tough day when you've got to lose the kids. They are our hope for the future," Lorge said.

Justin and Casey Jacobson were the sons of Kristie and Loren Jacobson.

Last fall, a wild fire swept off the prairie from the south and burned grass and hundreds of acres of ponderosa pines on the Jacobsons' place. The next day, Loren Jacobson was out fixing fence and checking cattle.

That day, the fire still smoldering in charred pines, he said, "The grass will come back, the sun will shine and it'll rain again someday. It always does."

It may take a long time for those words to come to pass, but hopefully they will, someday.
This is terrible! I got to meet these boys folks last fall. Nice people and this will be so hard for them to get thru'. Our prayers will be with them.
What a sad story. Every parent's fear and nightmare.
These boys were all friends of our sons, rodeoing and wrestling with them. A memorial service was held for all three in Bowman yesterday. I wasn't able to attend, but some of our boys did. Ryan, the brother who was driving, was only told about the deaths of his two brothers, his best friend, and the truck driver the day before the memorial service. He is absolutely devastated and is having a terrible time trying to deal with it.
Please keep Ryan, his family and the families of the other victims in your prayers.
no words can possible ease the pain these families and young Ryan are going through, but our prayers may help in the long run!!! my prayers are on their way! :cry: :cry:
reading these posts serves to remind all that life is so verrrry precious and can be ended in the blink of an eye.....not a one of us is immune to such tragedies!!! spent yesterday driving through yellowstone park with the family and at the end of the day, the 16year old (demolition derby driver :wink: ) thanked me and said "i finally got to see a buffalo"...yep, i was shocked...we only live an hour from yellowstone, yet we are always "too busy" to spend such time with the kids...then they are gone and we are left only with regrets!! Please....kiss your kids today (no matter how big or how small) and let them know just how much you love them!! Ya just never know... :cry: :cry:
I stumbled across this forum while searching for info on the accident with the boys from Bowman. Ranchwife you couldn't have said it any better.
I am an uncle of one of the boys who passed away. I would like to share the tribute one of his brothers and his sister wrote for his funeral.

Farewell To Our Brother

Someone once said that love has more to do with letting go than holding on.
Brandon lived each day of his life like it would be his last.
Though he was with us for such a short time, he still touched and influenced so many people.
He lived his life on the edge, one adventure after another; whether it be riding a bronc, chasing a storm, playing sports, or just spending time with the people he loved.
Although, he is already missed, we'll try and stand tall like he'd want us to.
Even though we bid him farewell, we'll never forget his accomplishments.
So, Brandon, good luck on your newest and most exciting adventure.
We'll always love and remember you.
Thanks for posting the poem to Brandon. I want you to know that my sons liked Brandon and the Jacobson boys very much. The guys they rodeoed and wrestled with are devastated by this tragic loss. You have our sympathy.
Thank you liberty. This was heartbreaking for both familys as well as the entire western community. But I do need to say that the memorial that was held in Bowman for the boys was one of the most unbelievable services I have ever been involved with. I know it is hard/nearly impossible for my sister, her family, and the Jacobsons right now but I know in time they will look back on that service with pride and honor at the impact these boys made. Please continue to pray for the Kleins and Jacobsons
I've been teaching Bible School all week and haven't talked to anyone from up north. Do you know if Ryan is still in the hospital and what his condition is? My crew will be headed out for the big 4th of July rodeo weekend and will probably hear about him, but I won't see them until at least the 5th.
I did hear that he has been going through the surgeries pretty fair, but I really don't know anything for positive. Did you hear anything over the weekend?
ts said:
I did hear that he has been going through the surgeries pretty fair, but I really don't know anything for positive. Did you hear anything over the weekend?
Its so sad when something like this happens. So many times we never think itll happen to kids, so remember always tell your children you love them even if they do something bad you never know when itll be the last time you see them or talk to them.My daughter called me the day after it happened just in tears, as she goes to NDSU and knew Ryan as well as Justin. Just let me know how Ryan is. THanks so much ...
Right now I believe Ryan is in Minneapolis to take care of some burns from the airbag deployment, but it sounds like he is doing pretty good.
I just wanted to say that my dad is TS and Brandon was my cousin..I found out that Ryan is doing much better and he will be out of the hospital in about 2 weeks..but he is being charged by the state I'm not sure what the charges are yet but if anyone knows I would appreciate if they would tell me

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