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Double Van Collision Kills Two

Two men were killed in a head on collision Friday. 78 year-old John Carroll, a World War II veteran lost consciousness before the veterans service van he was driving crossed the median of Interstate Hwy. 35W and struck a car, and then a van head-on. Carroll and the other van driver collided shortly before 2p.m. The other driver, father of four, Bobby W. Tomlin, 38, of Mahtomedi, died along with Carroll near County Road 88 in New Brighton. Carroll was on his way back from the Minneapolis Veterans Medical Center with two fellow veterans. Passengers Richard Kerr, 83, and Bob Butte were transported to Hennepin County Medical Center. Kerr was listed in critical condition while Butte was listed as injured, but stable. The other car that Carroll’s van collided with carried two passengers who were unharmed in the accident.

The Pioneer Press and Star Tribune covered two different angles with this story, something that seems rare to me in this market. The Pioneer Press writer spends much of his story with the life of deceased Bobby Tomlin. The writer talks about Tomlin as a father of three daughters, ages 11 months, 3 years and 12 years, and a 10-year-old son. The article goes into Tomlin’s schooling and also his job as a watch repairman.

The Star Tribune article takes the side of John Carroll. The writer covers Carroll’s service in WWII, his job as a St. Paul fire fighter and also tells us that he crashed a county owned vehicle. The van Carroll crashed was a handicapped accessible van owned by Chisago County to transport Veterans to medical appointments. Carroll had been a driver of the van for more than three years.

Read the Star Tribune Article here

or click the title for the Pioneer Press article


I worked with Bob Tomlin and hw was a wonderful man and his story should have beent he only one that was written about.