Teen Memoriam Stories

Gage Manning

I know that they would be here today if they would’ve been wearing their seat belts. I hope the other kids are now wearing their seat belts and not driving distracted. I’m super proud of all of them for having a designated driver.

On April 1st around 11:30 p.m., my husband, Jack, received a call from the hospital informing him that Gage had been in a crash and was in surgery. Jack called me right away (I was in California). I was so relieved that he was in surgery because that meant he was alive. He was going to be okay. Jack, my son Jackson and his wife Karly rushed to the hospital to be with Gage.

We were told there were five kids in the accident (three boys, two girls), none were wearing seat belts and all were ejected. We knew that Gage was with his cousin River and another friend. There were so many questions. One of the girls was at the same hospital as Gage, a boy and girl were at the other hospital and one boy was dead at the scene. It was such devastating news.

The friend’s dad called Jack to let him know that his son was going to be okay. That was good news, but it also meant that our nephew, River, was the one left at the scene. Our hearts were crushed, yet still trying to be hopeful for our own son’s recovery. Gage was life flighted from the scene and was bleeding internally. They bypassed the ER and went straight to surgery.

After surgery they sent him for a CT scan. They found that he had a major head injury and wasn’t going to survive. He was so unstable that they didn’t think I would be able to make it home from California to say goodbye. The ICU staff did all they could to keep him alive for me. It took me 12 hours to get from California to Ogden and Gage held on. I was able to hug him, kiss him and say goodbye. They were the absolute worst 12 hours of all our lives.

After getting all the pieces of the puzzle, we learned that Gage was the driver. He had no alcohol in his system. He was just driving too fast (probably distracted) on a winding road in the dark, over-corrected and rolled the vehicle a few times. Where Gage and River were sitting had the least amount of damage.

On April 2 at 1:30 p.m., we had to say goodbye to our enthusiastic, adventure seeking, fun-loving, larger-than-life boy. He was a friend and protector to all. He was up for anything and everything. He always had a smile on his face and such a contagious laugh. He will be greatly missed, always remembered and live on in our hearts forever. We know that Gage and River are together and we miss them fiercely. We love you, Gage.

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