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I saw two people die today – UPDATED January 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness.
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The snow was beautiful in North Texas.  My wife wanted to go to Mass at Mater Dei in Dallas, thinking it would be a safer trip.  She was right.  But I decided to press on to St. William in Greenville for Novus Ordo Latin Mass.  Conditions on the way out were not too bad, but the rain did change to snow about the time we got to Nevada.  The Mass, celebrated by Fr. Weinberger, was very good, as usual.  After Mass, conditions had deteriorated a fair amount, so I began pressing for us to leave pretty quickly.  The kids dallied a bit in the cafeteria at the breakfast the Knight’s were putting on, which we did not partake of, and we got loaded up in the car.  I was glad we did.  As we drove out, the roads were much more covered in a mixture of snow and sleet than they had been previously.

I went about 10-15 mph slower than usual.  On the road between Greenville and Caddo Mills, SH 66, I saw a car had spun out, but they were ok and getting back on the road.  Then we rounded a small rise, and I saw it – something very big laying crosswise across the road.  A tractor trailer jacknife?  No….worse.  As we approached, my wife was telling me to get there quick – there was a Dodge pickup on the road, flipped on its side, and a small black car (a Neon) down in the ditch.  The car was in bad shape.

I saw the guy climb out of the truck and sit up on the sill, 6 ft up in the air.  He had an umbrella, because it was snowing and sleeting very hard now.  My wife ran down to the car, because she has paramedic training, and I asked the guy from the pickup if he was OK.  He was, but said his legs hurt some and he didn’t want to get down yet.  By this time, another vehicle had stopped to render aid, while a few more had driven by the scene.  I got on the phone to call 911, and couldn’t remember the number of the highway we were on.  I finally communicated it, while I ran back to our Suburban to get the medical bag we always have.  When I got back to the small car, the guy from the other vehicle that stopped to help told me to toss it down to him, and I went down the embankment.  I heard him talking to 911, giving a very detailed report – it turns out, he’s an off duty Caddo Mills fireman.  Then I looked in the car.

The man, the driver, was slumped over the center console.  His lips were purple.  The fireman on the phone said he could feel a faint pulse.  The little Neon was pulverized – the engine block had caved the dash in on the drivers side at least a foot.  We could not get the front doors open, so the off duty fireman climbed in the back.  My wife tried to assist through the window.  The passenger, a female, had blood all down her chin and neck, and bubbles of blood were issuing from her mouth.  I asked if my wife needed anything from the medical bag, and she said no.  Then, she asked for an airway for the driver, but she couldn’t get it to insert.  By that time, I could hear the approaching sirens – a fire truck from Caddo Mills and an ambulance from Greenville.  The off duty fireman directed them to help the passenger – the driver had already expired.  I had seen a bit of steam issuing from his mouth, and had heard very labored breathing, but that was at the very beginning.  I didn’t know it, but my wife baptized him while I was out getting the medical bag, just in case.  She didn’t baptize the passenger, because, in spite of the blood, she didn’t seem to be in as bad a shape.  I probably witnessed the driver’s passing, but did not know it at the time.

We left the vicinity of the car and let the firemen do their work.  They took the woman from the car pretty quickly – the jaws of life work pretty fast.   They loaded her in the ambulance, but the ambulance did not go anywhere.  She did not survive.

This was a young couple, probably in their early thirties.  No children were in the car, thank the Lord.  They were dressed as if they were going to, or leaving, Church.  Both wore seatbelts, and airbags did successfully deploy.  The driver of the pickup, who had lost control while driving over an icy bridge, was uninjured, physically.

We prayed the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and the prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for this young couple.  I am certain more prayers would be of great benefit.  I had never witnessed someone die before.

Requiem aeternam dona mihi.  Domine, et lux aeterna luceat mihi.  Requiescam in pace.

UPDATE: A commenter left the names of the deceased here – James and Laci Betterton.  If any others who knew the deceased drop by, I wanted to add that I don’t believe either suffered at all.  We arrived at the accident site within 20-30 seconds of the collision, and neither was conscious.  I don’t believe either felt anything – neither regained consciousness at any point that I could determine.  My condolences to the families involved.  Apparently, I was wrong about the female in the accident, Laci Betterton, dying at the accident site – this article states she passed away at Hunt Regional Medical Center.

UPDATE2: I’m getting many people drop by who were friends/loved ones of the couple who died in this awful accident.  I know my description is pretty graphic, and I’m sorry if it’s bothering of you.  I’ve contemplated censoring it – I have a small blog, and did not know if this story would “get out,” as it were, to those who knew the two accident victims.  I don’t mean for anyone to suffer more, but I wrote this post a few hours after the incident, so I was kind of venting all that I had seen and been shocked by.   It’s still weighing on my heavily 3 days later.  I will continue praying for them.  Let me know if you think I should edit it to take out some of the rougher parts.

UPDATE3: A commenter kindly left details on the funeral services for Laci and James Betterton.  Visitation is Wed at 6 at the Rader Funeral Home in Kilgore. Funeral is at 1, Thursday at the Forest Home Baptist Church in Kilgore.  I will do a separate post with this information.

Crazy Catholic nights January 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, silliness.
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So, I did finally make it to Adoration at the Carmelite Chapel in the Cliff.  What a wonderful night, and my first Low Mass, too.  Fr. Wolfe, FSSP, gave a sterling sermon.  So this is how I pass my wild crazy orthodox Catholic Friday nights – driving around, finding the hottest Adoration spots in town, grooving out to the Adoration and Mass, staying up all hours praying in devotion to our Lord, and getting inebriated on the Real Presence!  I had already hit one other Adoration earlier, so we were really cruising the town hitting all the best spots.

I tell you, we insane orthodox Catholics really know how to LIVE IT UP!  I can’t wait to do it again next month!