My Dad, Harold R. Boltz, Sr., Nanticoke, PA, 07/05/11
by Suzanne Pawlush
(Mocanaqua, PA, USA)
My father was killed by a drunk driver on July 5, 2011. My dad was 72 and had just retired 4 days earlier from a job he loved. He and my mom planned their first "retirement" trip to Coral Beach Resorts, Myrtle Beach, SC. They left early Tuesday morning from their home in PA and when I spoke to them at 4:45 pm they were all excited and giggly and they couldn't wait to see the resort. They told me they had just entered S. Carolina as we were still talking on the phone. They assured me they would call me when they arrived and it would be about an hour or an hour 1/2 longer.
The next phone call I received was from someone at McLeod Regional Medical Center in SC around 8:00 pm. I answered the phone and was informed they had my mother there and that she was conscience and would be okay but needed to go for more tests. She said, all she knew was that they were in an accident on the highway and their car was totalled but again, didn't mention my father. I asked how he was and she said, "he was taken to a different hospital but I don't know which one". She assured me that she would contact the highway patrol in charge and find out where he was and call us back. She didn't have to, I already knew. I don't know how or why, I just knew from that moment on. We officially were called and told by the coroner that my father died in the accident and that since it would take us awhile to get to SC, they had to tell my mom. It was killing me that she was alone somewhere by herself and then just heard the worst news of her life. I was just so heartsick, I needed to be at that hospital and see my mom.
I couldn't even imagine how this could happen because my father was the safest driver I knew. It was actually a running joke in our family because my mom, us kids or the grandkids couldn't go anywhere without the safety check of the car by my dad! We always teased him that we were going to park a street or two away from their house when we visited because he would go out and check our tires to make sure they weren't bald, ask when they were rotated last, oil check, windshield wiper and fluid check...you name it, our cars had it! And maybe because he was a truck driver for so many years, he was such a conscientious driver and that is why I couldn't wrap my head around how this could have happened!!
When my siblings and I walked into my mom's hospital room and saw my poor mother, beat up, broken and bruised. The first thing she said through her tears was, "A drunk driver hit us."! Oh, the anger was instant!
That was four months ago. What is known so far is: a 26 years old man was driving from a vacation in Virginia to his home in Georgia on I-95. He was traveling in the same direction as my parents and smashed into the back of their car at a high rate of speed. They were then pushed into the guide rail and the car flipped 2x side to side, landing on it's roof. The side air bags came out but the front one's did not. My mother was unconscience when the ambulance arrived. We still aren't sure if he was killed instantly and we probably won't know until the trial. The guy who hit them, was arrested on the spot and was arraigned with 50k bail. He was out in less than 48 hours.
Our life is still in turmoil...every day has been a battle to get through. I pray that the trial comes quick and that the drunk driver that took away the patriarch of our family, goes to jail for 20 years but the more I research this crime, the more I realize that the chances of that happening are slim to none. =(