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Life changes in an instant: Chad Fuqua’s Story

Life changes in an instant: Chad Fuqua’s Story

“Chad had gone to Marshall, Mo., for the weekend to spend time with long term friends,” Vonnie Fuqua, Chad’s mom said. “It was around 9 o’clock. Chad called and said he was headed home. So, I said ‘Well call me at your next stop just so I know you’re okay.’ And he said ‘well I won’t have a next stop,’ he said ‘I’ll be able to come on in.’

“I said ‘bye, love you.’ He told me bye, he loved me. And I said the mom thing ‘please be careful’ and I said ‘but call me when you get home.’ He said ‘well it’ll be around midnight.’ I said ‘I’ll just feel better knowing when your home.’”

“Life changes in an instant,” said Vonnie.

“Possible fatality. A motorcycle had been laid down. There was blood on the roadway,” Justin Henderson, Missouri State Highway Patrolman, said.

“I noted a male patient laying in the roadway, a motorcycle on its side, with several people standing around,” Jonathan Tudor, EMT said. “Most of them had a complete panicked look on their face. No one was doing CPR, no one was doing anything to help him. When I got to the patient’s side the first thing that I noted was the patient had significant head trauma and was not breathing. I checked, he did not have a pulse. I enlisted the help of a couple of bystanders standing there to help me hold the C-Spine, which is hold his neck in place. And then I initiated CPR with a bag valve mask and compressions.”

“It was almost exactly midnight,” Vonnie said. “My phone rang. I answered the phone: ‘You’re home, safe and sound, huh?’ And it was the chief of police of the city of Hollister. He said, ‘you need to go to the hospital, Chad’s been in an accident.’ And I said, ‘Is he hurt?’ And the chief of police said, ‘You need to go to the hospital.’ And I screamed at him, at the chief. I said, ‘Is he hurt?’ And he said, ‘Just get to Skaggs.’”

“On my arrival at the scene I noted he was not wearing a helmet while lying on the ground,” Jonathan said. “His helmet was found. During the accident, it was in some way removed from his head. I was told it was by force of the accident, someone did not take it off. The helmet was found lying against a guardrail with significant damage to the top of the helmet.”

“I believe the motorcycle slid, causing the impact between Chad’s head and the left rear corner panel of the hummer as it continued making his left-hand U-turn,” said Justin.

“When I rounded the corner of the emergency room I saw the mayor of the city of Hollister,” Vonnie said. “I saw his vehicle. I told my husband, ‘This isn’t good.’ When we walked into the emergency room the first thing they wanted to do was make me more comfortable in this little room off to the side. I told her I didn’t want to go into her little room. I was just fine. ‘Well you’ll more comfortable in there.’ ‘I don’t need to be comfortable, I just want to see my son.’ I ended up in the little room. And then they all walk in.”

“They don’t have to tell you; they don’t,” said Vonnie. “You can see it in their faces. They don’t have to say ‘we did everything we could do.’ But, that’s what they said. And I asked them to tell me what that means. ‘We just did everything we could do.’ And I asked them, ‘my son is dead?’ They said yes.”

“Somehow or another I left the hospital,” said Vonnie. “They handed me a little brown envelope. It had his wallet, his keys, and his cellphone. It’s all I left the hospital with that night. I got his boots. He said, ‘We’re sorry for your loss’ and you just sit there and go what do you do now?”

“I was told by a deputy that there was a possibility the driver of the second vehicle was at a Hummer just up the street at Blue Sky Lane,” Justin said. “I made contact with the subject and asked if he was the driver involved in the crash and he said he was and I identified him by his driver’s license. I could smell a strong odor of intoxicants coming from the breath of the driver. I asked him to perform the field sobriety test and he refused to. At that point, I placed him under arrest for driving while intoxicated.”

“Later at the jail there were two shot glasses recovered out of his pocket that had an odor of intoxicants on them,” said Justin. “Further investigation led to finding out that they had been at a couple of different bars in the area throughout the night.”

“My life is never the same,” Vonnie said. “The hole is deep. The hole is black. You can smile. You can laugh. You can go to your friends. But, it’s never gone. Never. Some days you think it’s just a dream. It didn’t happen. The next time the phone rings it’s going to be him. But, I’ve even gone the other way. Sometimes I think he was just a dream, that I never had him, that he was never in my life. And then it was this marvelous story about I read somewhere about this relationship with this mother and this son. But, reality tells you it happened.”

“I know I was lucky I had him 40 years,” said Vonnie. “I know some people don’t have their children that long. We were friends. The last words I heard him say are ‘I love you mama.’ I guess that’s pretty lucky.”

mackenzie
Mackenzie@missourisafeandsober.com
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