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What Happened:

A teacher and former Noble County Sheriff's Department dispatcher was critically injured when he was hit by a car while standing at an accident scene Sunday.

Rob "Robbie" Tomlinson, 43, of Topeka, was hospitalized at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne after the incident, which happened on CR 1200N, near 400W, at 7:39 p.m. Tomlinson was on the scene to help his children, who were involved in an accident there about an hour earlier.

Both crashes were related to the weather, which was blowing snow across area roadways, according to the Noble County Sheriff's Department.

In the first accident, a 2001 Dodge Dakota driven by 22 year old Daniel Brooks of LaGrange slid left of center, hitting an eastbound 1995 GMC driven by Tomlinson's 16 year old daughter, Laura. Robbie Tomlinson came to the scene, and from there called the Sheriff's Department to request an ambulance after his 14 year old son, who was riding with Laura, complained of chest pain from his safety belt.

A few minutes later 38 year old Janet Lindsay of Ligonier stopped to see if she could assist. Robbie Tomlinson was standing by Lindsay's 1997 Mercury van, thanking her for stopping, when he and the van were hit by a westbound 1995 Buick.

The driver of the Buick, 41 year old Paula A. Lengacher of Ligonier, told police she was blinded by other headlights at first, and when she hit the brakes she went out of control and sideswiped the van, hitting Tomlinson in the process.

Tomlinson was airlifted by Samaritan helicopter to Parkview Fort Wayne, where surgery was performed. Reports indicated Tomlinson lost a leg as a result of the accident, as well as suffering other internal fractures.

Tomlinson worked as a Sheriff's Department dispatcher in Albion, and also worked in town for the Central Noble School district, as well as dispatching for the Kendallville Police Department. He's presently a teacher for Parkside Elementary school in LaGrange. His sister is Noble County Auditor Michelle Mawhorter.

Agencies that responded to the incident included the Sheriff's Department, Samaritan, Noble County EMS, and Topeka Fire Department.


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 7th, 2006 05:44 am (UTC)
Oh my god. I am so sorry to hear about your friend. That is awful. And "I was just blinded by other headlights" doesn't really cut it when your good friend's life in permanently altered.

Just wow.

I'm actually from the Ft. Wayne area...Warsaw to be exact.

I'm so sorry for what happened.
Feb. 7th, 2006 01:54 pm (UTC)
When I heard she claimed to be blinded by headlights, my first thought was, "then why didn't you slow down, or better yet stop, until you could freaking see?"

Yes, I already knew you were from Warsaw -- I believe I saw it somewhere on your web site. I haven't been there in years, but it's not too terribly far from Albion. I just don't get out much. Small world, isn't it?
Feb. 7th, 2006 02:18 pm (UTC)
A very, very small world.
Feb. 7th, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC)
And getting smaller every minute, it seems. That's something we should all be thinking about.
Feb. 7th, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC)
This type of thing leaves me speechless. I can just repeat what I said yesterday; I'm keeping him in my prayers.
Feb. 8th, 2006 03:57 pm (UTC)
Prayers are needed, thanks. I was pretty much speechless too. I found out when I walked in to start my shift, so it was a pretty rough 8 hours -- especially since we had another very bad accident right at shift change.
Feb. 7th, 2006 01:11 pm (UTC)
This is such horrible news. I'm impressed by the response, though. More than one good samaritan in your neck of the woods.
Feb. 7th, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC)
good samaritans
On my job, I tend to deal with people when they're at their worst, or when the worst possible thing is happening to them. Sometimes I have to remind myself that there are still more good than bad people in the world, but there are. Around here, if your car breaks down and somebody stops, it's still a good bet that they're stopping to see if they can help. not to mention all the volunteer firefighters, EMT's, and such who continue to contribute their time to help people.
Feb. 7th, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC)
I put Rob up on my Church's prayer board.....

Feb. 7th, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks, it's much appreciated.
Feb. 7th, 2006 08:22 pm (UTC)
I feel especially sorry for Rob's daughter - who seems to have been driving safely, but ended up with her family being caught up in an incident that was in no way her fault. I will remember you and Rob's family in my prayers.
Feb. 8th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC)
Yes, his kids had it especially hard. Not only to be in the first accident, but to then be right there when their dad was hurt so badly. That just makes it all that much worse.
Feb. 7th, 2006 10:19 pm (UTC)
He's doing better tho! Or so the paper said. See God does answer prayers.
Feb. 8th, 2006 04:00 pm (UTC)
Yes, He does, but that's not an assurance to me because sometimes the answer is no. I'm glad this time that it appears to have been yes.
Feb. 7th, 2006 10:22 pm (UTC)
P.S. The girl Robbie was thanking did she end up getting injured? Or was Robbie the only one struck.
Feb. 8th, 2006 04:01 pm (UTC)
The woman apparently wasn't hurt, although her van got messed up.
Feb. 9th, 2006 11:39 am (UTC)
I managed to miss this, but I did see your subsequent post that he'll keep the leg. Poor man, and his poor family. I'll keep them in my prayers.
Feb. 10th, 2006 07:35 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, he lost his lower leg, but they're working hard to save his upper leg so he can more easily start walking again. He's doing lots better.
Feb. 10th, 2006 12:27 pm (UTC)
Ach! Poor man. Stupid driver. ::grinds teeth::
Feb. 10th, 2006 04:55 pm (UTC)
yeah, I've been waking up with headaches over the whole grinding teeth issue every since it happened.
Feb. 11th, 2006 04:22 am (UTC)
I thought about him whilst driving in the snow today and tonight. It's scary. Why don't idiots slow down in the snow? (I do.)

In this state, you're supposed to change lanes to avoid folks pulled off to the right. What if you spin out?
Feb. 11th, 2006 05:53 am (UTC)
Yes, you're supposed to change lanes in Indiana, too. Some people actually do.
But the worst people continue to be the ones in four wheel drives, especially SUV's. They think they have a license to drive at, or usually above, the speed limit, no matter what the weather conditions. Most of the serious accidents we have around here involve those morons. I can't drive for more than a few miles without getting tailgated by one of them.
Feb. 11th, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC)
I can't drive for more than a few miles without getting tailgated by one of them.

Ha! Me, too. I thought it was their jealousy of my humble little paid-for, fuel-efficient Chevy, or perhaps it's their ire at my Wellstone and Kerry bumperstickers. After being tailgated by them, they usually whip around me and zoom off. I'm only slightly ashamed of the warm feeling of schadenfreude I get seeing them in the ditch later. One was nose-down in a huge snowdrift.

You're a man who appreciates a neat turn of phrase -- Nevada Barr's latest, High Country, has her heroine thinking oversized SUVs were conspicuous consumerism taken to such lengths she marveled that people willingly participated in cruel caricatures of themselves by driving them.
Feb. 11th, 2006 06:31 pm (UTC)
High Country
I like that! There are some people who need four wheel drives -- those who live in places with very bad weather and who, for one reason or another, have to get to work -- but most just want them to have them. Who needs an SUV in Texas or California? My little car gets 32 mpg. As a dispatcher, I have no choice but to get to work, but I also have to confess that I only live 3/4 of a mile away; and since I live on a state highway, the biggest problem I usually have is getting past the huge ridge of snow the plows leave across the front of my driveway.

As a moderate, I blame both left and right wing nutjobs for turning issues like energy into a political weapon, instead of sitting down and figuring out how to solve problems. I could be driving a car that gets 100 mpg by now, if they'd honestly try to get us off foreign oil. But never mind that -- I, also, like to laugh at the SUV drivers as I pass them in the ditch.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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