By Julie Ann Madden
One second and his life as he knew it changed forever — just after noon Jan. 18.
Joby Beavers, 35, of Akron, was driving on 482nd Avenue, which is a gravel road, south of Jefferson, S.D., when he lost control of his vehicle, causing it to enter a ditch and strike a utility pole head on.
It’s a road the rural Union County native has driven lots but that afternoon, Joby ended up hospitalized with a broken neck, shattered right femur bone and a spiral fracture in his left leg’s tibia bone.
After spending three weeks in the hospital, he has been recuperating at home. Last week, Joby was hoping to have a mental halo holding his neck bones in place removed. However, he may still be facing surgery if the vertebrae in his neck haven’t healed properly.
Joby is looking at two more months of recovery and possibly four months or even longer before he is able to return to work.
Joby, the son of Brad and Connie Beavers of Jefferson, graduated from Dakota Valley High School in 1995. Since graduation, he has been working as a welder. For the past eight years, he has been employed at Link Manufacturing in Sioux Center. His dad owns and operates Dakota Mechanical in Jefferson and raises buffalo near Fairfax, S.D. His mother is employed at West Shore Acres Greenhouse in McCook Lake, S.D.
In 2004, he married the former Jennifer Anderson, the daughter of Butch and Debbie Anderson of Akron. Jennifer graduated with Akron-Westfield’s Class of 1998 and is employed at Heyl Truck Lines in Akron. Her mother is employed at Maynard’s Foods and her father works at Heyl Truck Lines.
Jennifer and Joby have two children: Ean, 13, who attends Dakota Valley Schools where he’s on the basketball team; and Ryenn, who’s 8 years old and an Akron-Westfield second grader who takes piano lessons and dances with the Depot Dancers.
Joby enjoys sports and fishing — mainly fishing. He is a member of Akron’s Big Sioux Catfish Association. Although his favorite catch is walleye, he does enjoy catfishing on the Big Sioux River.
Walking is on Jennifer’s list of hobbies but topping both their lists is spending time with their children, especially playing board games.
A benefit meal, silent auction and bake sale will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, April 28 at St. Patrick’s Fellowship Hall in Akron. Menu includes taverns, chips, salads and desserts. Free will donations will be accepted. For more information and to donate items or make a donation, call Beth Van Beek at 568-2858.