I was having the typical Friday. I had helped my 3 children get ready for the school day. We had a very busy week with a lot of family activities and the usual homework and chores. I taught at one school district and my children went to another. They all went to school together with my 17 year old driving. My youngest son, Justin always walked his little sister into the elementary and then the boys went to the high school. At 4 in the evening we were all back home doing a few things before my daughters t-ball game. My son, Justin was riding with me to the game. He never missed his little sisters games, because she had always been at his football and basketball games as his biggest supporter. I love that about my children, they always were their siblings biggest fans. I coached her little team and Justin was sitting in the stands when 3 of his friends came to the game. He came to me after the game was over and asked could he go eat with his friends. He was 15 years old and had never asked to go anywhere like that and his best friend, Drew was going. They were all good kids and students and I said yes. He kissed me and his sister and said I will be home by ten. I knew the driver and trusted everything would be ok. She was older and had road experience. I have always been called an overprotected Mom.
They went to a Mexican food restaurant and then came down the gravel/dirt road where we live and visited her dad. He was to be home at 10 and never made it. The phone rang at 10:01 and the driver said we have had a wreck and I can’t wake Justin up. I called 911 and my husband and other son left to be at the wreck. It happened about 1 mile from our house. Justin was a passenger in the back seat on the drivers side, she lost control, hit a tree on his side of the car and he died instantly. My husband started CPR and wouldn’t stop until a nurse friend that lives on the same gravel road came and took over.
All of the others are married and have families now. When it happened she said a cow was in the road. Later we found out different. I have a friend/secretary of our school that lost her son to a drunk driver the next spring on his way home to get ready for his prom. Being from a small town I felt all alone and very guilty for letting him go that night. There have been many teens in our town that have died since. It is not easy by any means, but life has gone on.
I miss him so much, every minute of everyday. He was so liked by his peers, believes in God and a very good football player. A very good kid! I teach at the same school where he attended now and have started this project with my students 9-12 grade. I am able to tell my story to my students now and I hope it will make a difference. You never know what turns you will have in life, but this has been an altering change in ours that will always be forever. Love you forever and always–Justin Dale Archer.