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. =(

Comments for My Dad, Harold R. Boltz, Sr., Nanticoke, PA, 07/05/11

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Dec 26, 2013
Harold R. Boltz Sr.
by: Jeff O'Borski

Hi everyone. I am the son of Harold R. Boltz Sr.I will call him harry though because he hated the name harold lol. I thank you all for all your kind words. It really means alot. I would like to tell you all that this person received 10 years in prison. He just recently tried to have it reduced to home confinement and speaking to different people but as per our request was denied and will spend all of his sentence in prison. As for myself and mother we are very happy about that. Today is a good day.

Feb 04, 2012
My Story - hope this helps!
by: Barbara Dunham

I am deeply sorry for yourself and family. It is a horrible tragedy. Although it will always be tough, with time everything will get better. I promise you. I sense a lot of anger which is obviously understood but let me tell you my story.
I am a 44 year old mother of three children. When I was 31 years old, myself, husband, and two other couples were driving after going out to dinner. We were all wearing seat belts when a speeding car was coming at our vehicle, down the wrong way of a one way street. Our cars collided and serious bodily injury occurred. My husband died in my arms, our male driving friend passed away as well. His wife suffered a broken neck. The worst day of my life by a long shot. The driver of the other vehicle was more than double over the legal alcohol limit. He was 24 years of age. At first I was outraged, as anyone would be! The legal system took a very long time, however after hearing the plea deal, the system wanted to send him to jail for 13-18 years in prison. By this point, I knew more about the young boy that had caused this accident. He was not the most upstanding gentleman, but to say the least he was not a criminal by any means. It would have been far different if he was a premeditated murderer, rapist, child molestation, etc. I ended up dropping most of the charges and the young man ended up going to prison for 1 year 3 months, with 7 years probation. I still feel to this very day that i made the correct decision. I realized that everyone makes mistakes, and as hard as it is to swallow, I ultimately felt that ruining this young man's life in jail was simply not worth it.
I am sorry for your loss and I promise things will get better. I hope this helps. God Bless.

Nov 11, 2011
I am so sorry.
by: Suzanne Simons

That sounds so horrible. I pray that you and your family find justice. I can assure you that it will be a long process, as I have heard from other victims families. All we can do is be strong. It's going to a be a painful road. My family members were killed in August 28th, 2011. As you probably already know, it's a long battle. We are going to have to see our grandmother and great grandmother's killer for the 3rd time. I am saddened that this happens to too many people. I am also somewhat happy that I am not alone in this. Please keep everyone updated. I pray that you find justice, and peace. No matter where our love ones are, they will always be carried with us. That's how I live, I hope you do the same. Some day soon I hope, no one will have to go through what we go through. Take care Suzanne. Just know that all of us are with you.

Nov 11, 2011
Justice
by: Suzanne Harrick

First I'd like to express my deepest sympathy for you and your family...I found this website after my husband was killed by a drunk driver in 2006...I read every story and post a comment on many of them they all hit home with me, they all are tragic and senseless stories..I know how your Mom is feeling as I can relate to losing a husband, I know it's just as painful for children to lose a parent.

It sounds like your laws are similiar to ours in Connecticut...the most drunk drivers that KILLS someone will ever do in this state is 10 years...VERY few if any are sentenced to the maximum....the man that killed my husband was 4 times the legal limit and once he managed to get bail, he fled the country....So I never saw the man take responsibility for what he did...I wish you all the best, I hope your outcome gives you some kind of peace....It never gets easier, it just gets different....I hated when people would say to me, IT WILL GET BETTER.....no it doesn't, it just changes.....for lack of a better explaination...

Nov 11, 2011
to you and your dear family
by: nicole thomas

i am so sorry. may god be with you, and your family. this breaks my heart so much. you will be in my prayers. god bless you and you family.

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