A southwest Iowa man died Thursday afternoon when his motorcycle and a car collided in Audubon County. The Iowa State Patrol says 32-year old Ryan Adkins, of Exira, died following in the 1 P.M. crash near Hamlin. Adkins was a 1996 graduate of Exira High School and he recently served in Iraq. Exira Schools superintendent Rod Montang says Adkins was a hero to those who knew him.

Montang says Adkins “remained connected with the school system” and came to the elementary school and spoke with the children about his experiences in Iraq. Montang says Adkins “touched lots of hearts in this town.” Montang described the mood in the hallways around the school district, after he passed along the news of Adkins’ death.

He says, “I walked about the buildings, informing the staff of his death and, lots of crying.” The driver of the car that collided with Atkins’ motorcycle is identified as 17-year old Benjamin Christensen of Kimballton. Christensen was injured in the crash and taken to a hospital but there’s no word on his condition.

By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic