Garfield man who died in crash was long-time member of Air National Guard
Dave Greiner, 45, died in a two-vehicle crash near Hinckley at about 4 p.m. on Friday, May 14.
Dave Greiner of Garfield, a long-time member of the Minnesota Air National Guard, was on his way to one of his last drill weekends in Duluth on Friday, May 14.
He never made it.
Greiner, 45, who was just five months away from retirement, died in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 35 near Hinckley at about 4 p.m.
Greiner, a master sergeant, was a roads and ground supervisor with the 148th Civil Engineering Squadron, 148th Fighter Wing in the Minnesota National Guard based in Duluth, according to a social media statement from the wing Sunday.
He had served in the military for nearly 20 years, starting with the U.S. Army as a helicopter mechanic in 2001. Greiner joined the Minnesota Air National Guard three years later as a heavy-equipment operator. He was also deployed to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan in 2010 and 2014, according to the squadron post.
“Master Sgt. Greiner quietly and effectively got the job done," said Chief Master Sgt. Doug Ion of the 148th Civil Engineering Squadron. Ion deployed with Master Sgt. Greiner two times. “Dave was always on point whether he was working on airfield infrastructure projects or removing an A-300 Cargo aircraft from an active runway during a combat deployment.”
Ion added that Greiner had a "tremendous positive impact on the lives and careers of the airman in his field and was highly respected by everyone that knew him."
The 148th Fighter Wing is one of only two Air National Guard wings tasked to provide Suppression of Enemy Air Defense support for the United States.
In his civilian life, Greiner worked in construction and masonry, primarily with Bitzan/Ohren Masonry.
In his obituary , Greiner was described as adventurous and that he loved spending time outdoors deer hunting, camping, and being out on the lake on the pontoon. His greatest joy in life was his family, whether it was spending time with his wife, Jess, and their two dogs, playing XBox with his brothers, nephew, and niece, or being the “favorite” uncle to all of his nieces and nephews, the obituary said.
Funeral services, arranged by Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria, have not yet been announced. In lieu of memorials and flowers, donations may be sent to woundedpawproject.org or mailed to Wounded Paw Project, PO Box 1886, Merrifield, VA 22116-8086.
The State Patrol said Greiner was driving a 2017 Kia Sportage north on I-35 when a 2005 Mitsubishi Endeavor drifted into the median, crossed it and collided with the Sportage.
Greiner, who was wearing a seat belt, died.
The driver of the Endeavor, Tabitha Sue Sigler, 21, of Cambridge and her 36-year-old passenger, Santino Hilario Chavez of St. Paul, suffered life-threatening injuries. Sigler, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul while Chavez, who was wearing his seat belt, was taken to North Memorial Hospital.
Road conditions were dry. Airbags were deployed on both vehicles.
Pine County Sheriff’s Office, North Ambulance, LifeLink, and Hinckley Fire and Rescue responded to the crash.
Arrangements for Greiner’s funeral are pending with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria.