It was late August 2019 when Guillermo Romano Ibarra hopped on his bike and set off for a 40-mile ride on one of his favorite trails in Iowa City.

He recalls seeing a car uncomfortably close out of the side of his eye as he pedaled a half-mile stretch of Iowa Highway 22 between trails. Then he remembers waking up on the side of the road with sirens blaring and emergency lights flashing around him.

His next memory is when he came to in a hospital bed with a massive gash on his back — an injury a doctor later described in a deposition as looking like a “shark bite.” He had multiple fractures in his pelvis and a burst vertebrae.

This month Ibarra won a $15 million settlement in court, an amount based on the extent of his injuries and his likely loss of future earnings in his potentially-limited medical career.As Ibarra looks ahead, he said he hopes to use his experience to advocate for greater safety measures on Iowa roadways.


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