A soldier returning home from Iraq received grim news as soon as he arrived — his father died in a car crash while en route to greet him.

The Colorado State Patrol says 55-year-old Donnie Ferguson died Wednesday on Interstate 76 near Brush, in northwestern Colorado. Ferguson was on his way from Midlothian, Ill., to Fort Carson to greet his 23-year-old son. Army Pfc. Chris Ferguson returned Thursday from a yearlong deployment to Iraq.

Authorities say the deadly accident happened when the soldier's mom, 46-year-old Carole Ferguson, lost contol of the car. She faces a misdemeanor count of careless driving causing death.