Jerry Freeman devoted much of the New Years Day holiday
weekend keeping highways in District 4 safer for motorists.
A transportation technician based in Shoshone, Freeman stepped
outside his regular duties as a transport driver to assist
with snow plowing.
The road ahead promises to be far more difficult for Freeman
than the highway he plowed.
faces months of recovery and physical rehabilitation after
sustaining critical injuries Jan. 2 in a two-vehicle crash
about five miles south of Bellevue. He spent the night plowing
snow on Idaho 75 and then grading the highway to remove ice
delivered by a fierce winter storm.
His work day behind him, Freeman was returning to the maintenance
shop at about 3:15 p.m. in a 1996 ITD pickup when he noticed
a northbound vehicle had crossed the center line and was encroaching
on his lane. Freeman apparently moved to the right shoulder
of the highway in an unsuccessful effort to avoid a crash.
The oncoming vehicle struck Freemans pickup on the drivers
Fellow ITD workers were ahead and behind him on Idaho 75
and helped at the scene.
Freeman, 54, was taken by Lifeflight helicopter to Twin Falls
and then transferred to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center
in Boise. Two weeks after the crash, he remains in the intensive
care unit with multiple injuries, including a broken hip,
broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
He is responding well to treatment and probably will be moved
from ICU in the next couple of weeks, said his supervisor,
shop superindendent Mike Praegitzer. Freeman has undergone
hip/pelvis surgery, but faces more operations and a long recovery.
Freeman worked for a Bellevue paving company before accepting
seasonal work with the transportation department in 1994.
He became a full-time transportation technician in 1997.
He and his parents live north of Shoshone.
Your well wishes and prayers are most welcome,
wrote colleague Terry Meiners in a Jan. 8 e-mail message.
If you wish to send a card, you may do that and the
family will be able to read your messages to Jerry.
Please address cards and letters to Jerry Freeman, c/o St.
Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, 1055 N. Curtis Road, Boise,