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Harfst dies in Saturday morning bicycle accident

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Kent Harfst, assistant city manager and recreation and public grounds director in Webster City, enjoyed the Boone Valley Trail in Webster City for a May, 2018 article. Harfst was killed early Saturday morning in a traffic accident near Sioux City while riding an across Iowa run.

SIOUX CITY – Kent Harfst, assistant city manager and director of recreation and public grounds for the city of Webster City, was killed early Saturday morning in a bicycle accident in rural Woodbury County, approximately 30 miles east of Sioux City.

Harfst, 57, was participating in Ride Across Iowa in a Day’s half-day event, from Sioux City to Webster City. The ride took off from Sioux City around 4:30 a.m.

According to the Iowa State Patrol, at approximately 6:35 a.m., a Ford Transit driven by Aaron Albert, 19, of Mondamin, was driving east on County Road D-12 when it struck the rear of Harfst’s bicycle, which was also traveling east on D-12. According to the Patrol’s report, the collision occurred near the crest of a hill in dark conditions.

“As he was riding with the pack, he was struck by a motorist and sustained serious injuries,” said Randy Wahl, Webster City’s assistant director for recreation and public grounds. “He was life-flighted to Sioux City, and he did not recover.”

Harfst was one of 16 riders participating in the RAID event.

Harfst has worked for the city of Webster City for more than 30 years and will be missed by his family, friends and colleagues in the Webster City city government.

“I haven’t known Kent long and I can’t say I knew him well, but he was the utmost of kind and generous,” Wahl said. “It hurts real bad to lose someone who you know has such a tenderness of heart and a fondness for others who share in the same passion.”

Webster City Mayor John Hawkins was stunned by the news.

“It’s a huge loss to us,” he said. “Kent had been a mainstay in the community for 30-something years. It’s a hell of a shock for everybody.”

Harfst is survived by his wife, Becky, and their three children.

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