• Ben Kieffer
  • Tue April 20 2021
  • Posted May 11, 2021

UPDATE: Oct 21st 2022

Iowa bicyclist, smashed by a car in 2019, awarded $15 million settlement, advocates for safer roads


Guillermo Romano Ibarra came to eastern Iowa in the summer of 2019 to be part of the University of Iowa Medical Scientist Training Program. The rigorous seven or eight years of study results in an M.D. and a Ph.D.

Before that, Guillermo was living in Seattle when he started thinking about attending medical school. Iowa attracted him for a couple of reasons. His mother attended the University of Iowa and there were plenty of opportunities to continue an active lifestyle.

Guillermo says he’s always gravitated to more technical sports like swimming and cycling. Back when Guillermo lived in the Pacific Northwest, he helped coach a Paralympic swim team of disabled athletes called The Shadow Seals. He also enjoys weightlifting and running.


Soon after settling into his new apartment in Iowa City, Guillermo rode part of Iowa’s famous RAGBRAI bike ride across the state with some friends. From there, he began to discover more trails in the area. Cycling was becoming a refuge for Guillermo. It was a nice change of pace from the demanding rigor of medical school.

On August 28, 2019, Guillermo took his high-performance road bike in for maintenance. Right after the tune-up, he decided to set out on a ride in the country on a beautiful late summer evening. The plan was to head south from Iowa City toward the town of Lone Tree. Little did he know, when he locked his door behind him, it would be the last time he would set foot in that apartment.







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