Crash Location: Tropicana and Stephanie, East of Boulder Highway
About Mark Simon:
Mark was a senior at Basic High School and two weeks in front of graduation when he was struck down and killed by a drinking driver.
Mark’s younger days were spent playing sports (soccer, baseball and football one year till he hurt his back falling out of a tree). We lived on a lake in North Carolina for a year, and during that year Mark did a lot of fishing. He was really great at it. Being a mom, I took pictures of his biggest fish and also had to take one of the smallest fish. Thank goodness I took a lot of pictures; they are the memories I have now.
Mark was a quiet kind of kid, and worked hard in school. He wasn’t an honor roll student and learning did not come easy to him. He struggled through school just to get passing grades. On June 5, 1991 he would have earned his high school diploma that he worked so hard to achieve. He could have dropped out, but he was determined to earn and receive that diploma. The family was very proud of him, especially his dad and I. I was happy to finally be planning a graduation; after all, I worked hard to get him there.
May 24th, 1991 Mark was on his way home from work (riding a regular bike). It was a night that he was not scheduled to work, however, being the holiday weekend and Mark having a girlfriend, he never turned down the opportunity to earn extra money. Just outside the housing development wall before he made it to the entrance, Mark was violently killed by this impaired driver. Chalk marks on the roadway told the story of how he was viciously torn to pieces. I found out in court how badly damaged his body was. It’s not the kind of news you ever want to hear.
Rushing to UMC made no difference; he was gone before we got there. Identifying his body, sending him to the morgue, being handed what was left in his pockets, that was it. We came home without our son. It took a long time for reality to sink in, was hoping it was just a dream that any minute he would walk through the door. . . . . . .
Grief is a small word with a gut-wrenching, sick heavy meaning, especially if it’s your child. Twenty-Six years later and MY heart still hurts.
I get to be his mom now by sharing his story, one Victim Impact Panel at a time, one assembly at a time, one publication at a time. . . whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself. . . the only thing missing is the sound of his laughter, that beautiful smile, the hugs and the kisses and the I Love You Mom’s. . . .