CRASH VICTIM: Community Benefit

A small Tama County town showed up in a big way to support the family of a man who died following a plane crash last year.

Max Morrison was a passenger in a plane that crashed near Clutier last November.

The plane’s pilot Bill Konicek died in the accident.

Morrison was air lifted to Iowa City where he died from his injuries earlier this year. This weekend, the community showed support for the Morrisons, the same way they did for the Koniceks, by holding a benefit.

Max loved to help others according to wife, Sue, “He was always visiting people in the hospitals and nursing homes. He liked helping people.”

So after Morrison was injured in a plane crash, the town of Traer wanted to help.

Morrison later died from his injuries and the benefit in his honor grew.

“Max was just an integral part of our community,” explained family friend, Carri Holst, “always helping out so we wanted to turn around and help max and his family with this benefit.”

More than 600 people attended the benefit. That’s more than a third of Traer’s population.

It’s the power of a small town.

“Days like this it’s very nice. Everybody knows everybody and rallies behind each other,” said Max’s son, Mike.

The crowd included a very special guest, US Navy EOD technician Taylor Morris.

Taylor’s grandfather, Sid, was a friend of Max Morrison. Taylor and Max had also met.

“I was talking to Max a bit while he was in the hospital you know because I spent a lot of time in the hospital too,” explained Taylor Morris.

Taylor lost portions of his arms and both legs in May while serving in Afghanistan and continues to recover at Walter Reed Medical Center.

“There’s a lot of stuff I’m doing kind of extra-curricular that I count as recovery time. You know, walking around going to see different things and all that. Just trying to get back into life a little bit, getting out of the hospital and just getting out there.”

Taylor did just that when out and walking around in an event to honor a man known for “a moustache, a smile and a hug,” according to Carri Holst.

“It represents what Max was all about. He was always coming at you with a smile and a hug and of course his signature mustache so that was just a good way for the family to remember him.”

He was a man who touched the hearts of many.

He also helped bring a small, independent film to Tama County. A Place for Heroes was filmed in Traer and Clutier and is due to be released later this year.

The film’s crew says it never would have happened without Morrison’s help.

Thanks to sister station, KWWL.

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