Reader Joseph Moore writes:
A year ago this Saturday, our son Andrew was struck and killed by a car in Indiana while on the Crossroads Pro-Life walk. You kindly posted a prayer request then. This past weekend, my family flew out to Indianapolis for a memorial Mass put together by Crossroads, who had gathered together almost all the young people who had been on the walk with Andrew last year, as well as local pro-life activists and this year’s Central Walk walkers. Fr. Dan Pattee from Steubenville, who had been on the walk last year (and who himself is recovering from rather horrific injuries he suffered in a car accident in Austria almost a year ago), said Mass.
So, for the Praise report: The outpouring of love and prayer that our family has received from so many people has been overwhelming. Through them, God has provided great comfort and strength to our family, and to young people who had to go through the trauma of having a friend and companion die so unexpectedly. Praise God! Any further prayers for Fr. Dan’s continued recovery, and for continued healing for Andrew’s fellow walkers, and for Crossroads and its mission would be appreciated.
But the urgent storming of Heaven now needs to be for Bryan, the young man whose car struck Andrew on his way to work. My wife Anne-Martine wrote him a letter asking if he’d want to meet while we were out. He called us Saturday, in tears, saying yes, and so Anne-Martine our teenage daughters and I went out to meet him and his mother at the spot on the rural Indiana highway where Andrew had died.
This poor man, while certainly in ours and others prayers, did not have the hundreds of people we had reaching out to help him, and so lived with his grief for a whole year without really any chance to talk it through. His family supported him, but mostly he felt alone, and could not even talk about the accident. Bryan is only a few years older than Andrew.
So, for over an hour, he and his mother and Anne-Martine and I and Andrew’s 2 sisters talked, while the cars buzzed by and a little light rain fell of and on. Just standing there, looking a the spot, it’s clear that this was just a tragic accident, two walkers in the median where they had no business being, pitch black, no shoulder, no reason for a driver to even suspect anyone would be there. So, we assured Bryan and his mom many time that it was not his fault, he didn’t do anything wrong, and that we don’t blame or hate him.
Unfortunately, the tragedy didn’t end with Andrew’s death. Bryan’s car struck and got wedged atop a railing on the right shoulder. The impact had showered Bryan with glass and blood, and he had to crawl out of his wrecked car. The other walker, who had miraculously not been hit, was completely in shock. The first driver to come along after the accident fled without even allowing Bryan to call 911. This poor young man had to try to deal with the situation, himself injured, until a driver who would help came up a few minutes later. It was a horrible scene. Then the ambulance came and took him away.
Bryan is the father of 3 young children, including a daughter who was less than 1 week old at the time. I’m in no position to even really know what’s going on, but his marriage started to fall apart right after this accident – I can’t help but think the stress of this accident had to have a part in it.
So, please pray for Bryan, his mother, his children and his wife. The rest of us, it seems. were showered with God’s blessings, mercy and comfort after this tragedy, but somehow Bryan seems to have had to continue to suffer. Pray that he be comforted, that he experience God’s love, and that his family life be healed.
Father, thank you for the many graces and healings you have brought from this tragedy and hear our prayer for all the victims of this accident, especially Bryan and his family. Mother Mary, pray for them. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.