Chris was the youngest in our family of nine children. He was killed in a car accident on November 19, 2016 when his vehicle was hit by an impaired driver. It is important to me that my brother does not become one more nameless and faceless statistic for he was loved and cherished by our family. By sharing his story I hope to bring a human factor to this senseless and needless tragedy.
Chris was a very caring and generous person. To understand how unique and special he was I need to go back to one of my earliest memories of my brother. Chris was very little then, perhaps 5 or 6 and this is the story of another car accident that he was in – and it was purely an accident!
Dad was taking us three youngest ones to the store for an ice cream when we saw two young women walking on the side of the road and about to climb the steep hill known as Berry Head hill. He was slowing down to offer them a ride when Chris opened his door too soon. He fell out of the car and under the rear wheels. You can imagine what a fright we all had. Poor Dad thought he’d killed his little boy.
Well, we lived in a rural area – the nearest hospital was about a 45-minute drive from where we lived. Dad was very shaken up and my sister and I were crying. Dad scooped Chris up in his arms and drove with him cradled across his lap back to our house, which was a short distance away, to get Mom.
And here is where it gets emotional for me because I remember Chris patting Dad’s back and telling him “it’s okay Daddy, I’m all right” and then looking over Dad’s shoulder at my sister and me, “don’t cry, I’m okay” – he kept saying this the whole way back to the house.
This is quintessential Chris. He was more concerned about us than himself, even though he had to have been in pain. His entire life was a continuance of putting others first, even if it meant a huge inconvenience or sacrifice on his part.
To make a long story short Chris’s hips were crushed and he was in hospital for a while. When we got back to the house Dad and Mom rushed to the hospital with my brother. I also remember the joyous reunion when he finally came home….this time there will be no coming home. Aw Chris, you are so missed….