From the time Hunter drew his first breath, he was on the go. Hunter’s favorite sound was laughter. From his dry sense of humor, his daily hugs, and his appetite for trying to make people smile made for a oneof- a-kind sibling and a beautiful son. He loved fast food, Mountain Dew, and spicy Mexican chips. He was fascinated with learning. He loved video games and mastering his next move. We could hear him in the middle of the night playing his Xbox with people from around the world. He definitely made an online presence and had hundreds of followers. He was asked daily to join numerous gamer groups to be on their teams since he was clearly one of the best. He was a lover of rap music. In fact, he had made his own self-titled album named, “Kool Kelly.” It had a unique perspective and captured Hunter’s essence. He loved his three dogs, Shorty, Coco, and Lovey. We miss his oddly fantastic sense of humor and his insightful, loving, critical comments.
In 2006, myself, Hunter, and two of his three siblings (Tessa, Connor, and Grace) were struck by a driver going 45 MPH. We had just left a “Back to School Night” event. As we were leaving, we were struck by a car in the middle of the crosswalk by a teen driver. The driver was distracted and did not notice a family of four crossing. We were all left with permanent disabilities and severe emotional trauma. Hunter was especially changed by the devastation of a reckless driver. It changed the course of our family’s life forever.
A driver needs to be aware of school functions and activities which will be occurring before and after school hours. If you see a school having an activity, there will be people using the crosswalk. Pay attention, put down your phone… you could be the next vehicle of destruction to a loving family. November 19, 2016, Hunter was struck by a car again while trying to cross the street by an intersection. This tragedy came upon our family and took the life of our baby boy.
We are not totally sure what happened that night. What we do know was he was approached by some law enforcement officers. They briefly spoke and he went on his way. Hunter’s brain injury and the emotional trauma he suffered from the 2006 crash impacted the way he reacted to stressful situations. After his brief conversation with the officers, he must have been scared. Hunter was halfway across the street when a young driver hit him, stealing the life that had just begun.
A driver’s responsibility is to pay attention to your surroundings without allowing distractions to interfere. There will be pedestrians walking and crossing the streets no matter the time, place, or day. As our state becomes more populated, the number of pedestrians increase.
The first crash stole his innocence and the second crash stole his life.
The detectives who notified us of the car/pedestrian crash, had mixed up our family with another family. They told us Hunter had passed away. In actuality, he was still fighting for his life at the hospital. By the time the mistake had been figured out, it was too late. Hunter was gone. We were not able to say goodbye.
Hunter’s light continues to shine and grow. I am striving to make his story known. Hunter is a part of all of our hearts. For those who had the grace of knowing him, know how special he was. His siblings are proud to live in his light and carry on the message that ALL LIVES MATTER.
Our hope with Hunter’s memory is that his story will curb the destruction a vehicle can make when a driver is distracted. Pay attention. Save a life.
My awesomely beautiful son, I love you so much. I miss you with every breath I take. Peace be with you and I am proud to be your mom.