Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ten Days

I dropped Tom off at the airport today and picked up my grandma. She will be staying with me until we move. I can't believe I only have ten days left.

I did end up calling Trooper Coley last week just because I had some more pointless questions (they are so patient with me; I'll come back to that in a minute). I asked if he knew where Matt's phone was, and the computer, and his wallet... I felt weird asking about that stuff but I just had to for some reason. He wasn't 100% certain about the phone or computer since the fire department dealt more with the things in the car but his wallet was in his suit coat. He thinks the phone was towards the driver side and the computer was in the front passenger area. I ask about what he was wearing - a white shirt, which I figured by process of elimination when going through his closet but still don't know which tie! And lastly, I asked what he looked like. I'm sure that's another one of my repetitive questions. He started telling me a little more about what initially took place. I learned some more details I didn't know before...

When the call was placed to 911, it was called in as property damage. Trooper Coley was right up the road so he got there first. Apparently, it's rare that they arrive first on scene to an accident where severe injuries are involved but that's only because it was called in as "property damage". There were two women standing out there and he asked if either of them had hit the tractor. They said no. So he asked who hit the tractor. They pointed to the woods where Matt's car ended up so he ran over there and saw Matt and that he had injuries to his face. A volunteer fireman was the second one on scene and had some gloves. Trooper Coley happens to be an EMT so once he put on gloves he was able to open Matt's airway and then he saw that Matt had a severe injury on the right side of his head that he didn't initially see. Three people saw the impact and no one called 911 to report a potential injury; only property damage.

Witness #1: "I was traveling west 264 I saw the black Jeep slam into the back of the tractor."

Witness #2: "I was in the left lane beside/behind black jeep. the black jeep came up behind the tractor in Right lane and rear-ended tractor."

Witness #3: "I was traveling EAST on Hwy 264 and saw an impact on a John Deere Tractor headed West 1/2 mile from Mozingo Rd."

I just want to say that the state highway patrol office here in Greenville has been wonderful. I know that the hardest part of their jobs is to track down next-of-kin to tell them that their loved one is dead. But they were very professional and very sympathetic and have been VERY patient with us throughout this whole ordeal. The two that came to my office to deliver the news both left their cell phone numbers and told me that I could call anytime, day or night, if I ever had questions. When my father-in-law and I ventured into the SHP office to obtain a copy of the accident report, one of the sergeants sat down with us for over an hour & a half while he explained things and answered our questions. The office closes at 5:00 and we were there until 5:15. We were never ushered out, in fact, we didn't even realize what time it was when we left. I have called Trooper Coley what seems like a hundred times and he has been so gracious about returning my calls and/or answering my (oftentimes repetitive, I'm sure) questions patiently and thoroughly, despite how trivial they may seem. He and another sergeant also joined us in a meeting with the district attorney for yet FURTHER clarification, despite how old I'm sure this whole situation was to them, and it is just nice how available they have all made themselves to us in providing whatever we need. I'm sure they would say it's just part of their job but they have definitely helped settle my mind and make this situation a little easier on me... as easy as they possibly can. If you ever come into contact with a state trooper, even if they're about to write you a ticket, give them all the respect in the world because this is the type of stuff they have to deal with on a daily basis.

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