On August 16, 2010, Susan, Peter and Matthew were returning to Maryland from a family picnic when a trucker fell asleep at the wheel coming into a construction zone. All other traffic was merging at about five mph while the trucker was going about 55 mph before he slammed on his brakes way too late. He killed Susan and seriously injured both of our boys, 12 and 16 at the time.
Susan, my wife for 18 years, was a Ph.D. mathematician and Department Head at Stevenson University in Maryland. Susan ran several STEM programs for girls and minorities our entire married life. She was active in fund raising for our small Catholic school and for our rather large Boy Scout troop. Over our 18 years of marriage she spearheaded raising nearly $250,000 for these entities that our boys were involved in.
Susan was serious, hard working, disciplined, and pretty straight laced but she enjoyed a good beer once in a while and could cry laughing when moved to it. She was fiercely faithful and loved her boys like no one I had ever seen before.
Our 16-year-old was able to recover from his mostly orthopedic injuries but he has metal plates in his hips and pelvis. He graduated from a prestigious art school and is now gainfully employed at a world-renowned design firm.
Our 12-year-old was permanently disabled from his traumatic brain injury and will be forever dependent on others for much of his care and life activities. He is confined to a wheelchair, has expressive aphasia, is catheterized 6 times a day, is learning to read very slowly, and has difficulty processing information. He is however mostly happy and enjoys movies and most recently adaptive snow skiing.
All this said, we are indebted to the Truck Safety Coalition and its many members who have become dear friends and advocates with us in our efforts to prevent other families from having to suffer the same tragedies we have.