'It was almost overwhelming’: Tractor ride to benefit Butler County man injured in train crash

Jason Beckner, right, was involved in a truck/train crash last month. A tractor ride and drive-thru pork chop dinner are being held this Saturday to help with medical expenses. He is pictured with his wife Stephanie and son Justin at the Talawanda FFA banquet in May 2019 when Justin was installed as chapter president. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN
Caption
Jason Beckner, right, was involved in a truck/train crash last month. A tractor ride and drive-thru pork chop dinner are being held this Saturday to help with medical expenses. He is pictured with his wife Stephanie and son Justin at the Talawanda FFA banquet in May 2019 when Justin was installed as chapter president. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN

A benefit tractor ride event will be held Saturday to help with medical bills of a local man seriously injured in an Aug. 6 truck/train accident.

Jason Beckner was driving to work at Zimmer Tractor on Ohio 127 near Collinsville when he was blinded by the sun in his eyes and did not see the railroad crossing gates down.

“He had 17 broken bones. If it could break, it was broken, except for his left arm. There was no brain damage,” said his sister, Kari Roberts, a vocational agriculture teacher at Talawanda High School. “An Army medic on his way to training was the first on the scene. Second was a retired EMS volunteer from Seven Mile and Milford Twp. A railroad worker was nearby. Yes, he was very physically broken, but it could have been much worse.”

He was taken by helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital, where he spent several weeks in the Intensive Care Unit and Advanced Care with multiple surgeries. A cast was removed Sept. 9 during a visit to the surgeon.

Beckner is described as having a passion for antique tractors and the agriculture industry as well as being willing to help others.

“Jason is always giving back, to 4-H, FFA, Farm Bureau. He’s always there to help. Now, it’s going full circle,” Roberts said of her brother and the benefit Saturday.

In addition to the tractor ride, there will be a drive-thru pork chop dinner Saturday.

The tractor ride will begin and end at the Schwab Family Farm Market, 3967 Oxford-Reily Road, across from Talawanda Middle School. Registration is $20 and will begin at 9 a.m. with the ride of 30 miles starting at 11 a.m. and expected to last four to five hours.

The drive-thru pork chop dinner will be available from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Collinsville Community Center, 5113 Huston Road. The cost will be $10 per meal which includes a grilled pork chop, Jojos baked beans, Mac N' Cheese and a chocolate chip chunk cookie.

Roberts calls it a near-miracle her brother survived and credits the fact that several people first on the scene were able to help stabilize him, but there is a piece of equipment she feels is at least partly responsible for his surviving such a horrific crash with a train.

He was driving a truck belonging to his son, Justin, that morning. A previous owner had installed a cage behind the cab after an incident in which boards has broken through the rear window of the cab. The frame of that cage stuck up above the level of the cab.

“I personally think that cage took the brunt of the damage in the rollover,” she said.

Roberts said the family has been busy with the farm work and have had help from neighbors with the hay and the hogs, pitching in wherever needed.

“It was almost overwhelming from the start. People here are like that giving, supportive. It’s different with the pandemic, Jason is not allowed visitors. It’s just the great, full giving heart. He is just blown away by the support,” she said. “The community did what the community does around here.”