A small northern Iowa community is raising money for a Grafton man who isstill in the hospital after being critically hurt in a late Novemberaccident that was caused by vandals. Residents in the Northwood area aregathering donations for the Randy Severson family. Mary Christianson, apersonal banker at the Northwood State Bank, says they set up the fund aftera soup supper was held to raise money and it’s grown fromthere.Thirty-eight-year-old Randy Severson was badly hurt on November 26thas he drove to work. Vandals had removed the warning signs and barricadesprotecting travelers from recent roadwork and Severson’s truck fell into a15-foot-deep ditch. He’s in serious but stable condition at a hospital inRochester, Minnesota. Christianson says people are really working to meetthe Severson family’s needs: Christianson says donations are coming fromfolks who’ve never met the Severson family, and she says it’s great to seepeople be so generous. Donations so far exceed $4000. Christianson sayspeople don’t always understand the toll an illness or injury takes on thoseclose to the victim. She says family members rack up lots of bills, likegasoline to travel to and from the hospital, as well as lost days of work.Donations can be sent to the Randy Severson Benefit Fund, NSB Bank, P.O. Box288, Northwood, IA 50459. Three St. Ansgar teens were arrested earlier thisweek in connection with the vandalism: 18-year-old Mathew Stromley,15-year-old Cory Tesch, and 16-year-old Josh Johnson. All three are chargedwith first-degree criminal mischief, a felony which carries a maximum fineof ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
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