Friday, February 18, 2011

Nobody Warned Me About This One....

A couple of weeks after Karl/Karlio/Vinny/My Angel left me I had gotten a sudden interest in reading. Now, don't get me wrong I love to read but finding the time to read, well that's another story.
Anyway, I started collected all the "widows guides/self help/what to expect the first year/etc" books I could get my hands on.
Barnes & Nobles on-line is getting pretty used to my every week shopping trips {can't beat a dollar for a book thou}.
A few of my favorites so far are called "Widows Wear Stilettos", "Remembering With Love Messages of Hope for the First Year of Grieving" and "I Wasn't Ready to Say Good-Bye".
All my books are good, some are great, just about all warn me about what to expect, things that will hit hard like anniversaries, b-days, dreams and such.

Nobody though warned me of the worst of the worst. The day that brought me back to the very first day. The day that was probably worse then the first day because I didn't have the luxury of being in shock, making me numb and pretty much unresponsive.

The day was this past Tuesday, "autopsy report day".
I was on the car rider pick up line at Kolin's school and I got the call that it was ready to be picked up at of all the places I never wanted to go to, the medical examiners office. So, I waited for Kolin to get out at 4 and we headed over before they were to close. I was handed a legal sized envelope with 4 or 5 papers stapled together in it and brought it home.
That's when I stupidly decided to open it and the tear dam burst open again with just the first page and I didn't even hardly get past his name right up on top front and center.

Thankfully, KK was here and she took the boys out of the house for an hour because, nothing...absolutely NOTHING and anyone could have warned me about my reaction which just for the record, was not good..not good at all.
While I won't go into details, mainly because it's too graphic and my kids read this blog I will say that #1 the funeral home did a damn great job covering up the damage that went from the top of his head down to his feet and #2 he did NOT die of anything medically wrong with him {heart attack/etc}.
What he did die of was...
Blunt force trauma due to an auto accident.

Once again confirming what in my heart, I already knew. THEY gave him a faulty truck with faulty power steering. It wasn't even his truck, it was on loan from another mechanic who was supposed to fix that power steering before he left for vacation and didn't. He had that truck ONE DAY, yea just one day.
I know in my heart that power steering went out causing him to lose control and veering into the other lane.
While I don't claim to know much about mechanical things, I am pretty sure that was the case.
Unfortunately in this state that truck was not under DOT regulations it cannot be investigated for 90 days. THEY have 90 days to do what they please with that truck and any evidence related to that truck.
Because Karl was covered under workers comp, there is not one damn thing I can do to see that justice is done for him.
Workers comp protects employers from law suits, even if a death has occurred.

Never will I ever believe that it was his time to go. Never. He was, with the exception of having asthma, healthy. It said so in the report.
The only things found in him were nicotine {cigs} and caffeine {coffee}, nothing else.

All we have left to keep him close to our hearts is the necklaces we had made up.
Lockets with some of his remains in it and his thumbprint engraved on the front and silver dog tags for the boys with his thumbprint in the front.
I also have a heart with his thumbprint on it and the words "Always in my Heart" engraved in the back. {no picture yet though, I haven't taken it off since I received it last week}.





I wish somebody or some book would have warned me about autopsy report day, it really was that bad. :0(



Kendall said...

Oh Kim although reading that had to be horrifying, I know you couldn't not read it.

The lockets and dog tags are gorgeous! What a beautiful way to keep Vinny close to you and the kids all the time. I'm so glad you did that.

Finally, regarding the legalities, I hope you've talked to more than one attorney about this. You're going to laugh but I've heard good things about Morgan & Morgan being willing to take on a case when everyone else says no.

It seems so wrong that the company that put him in an unsafe vehicle has zero liability and accountability.

Keep reading your books..........when you're ready to move beyond the self help stuff and want to read things a little more spiritual try The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The Shack.

Both are therapeutic.

Shiela in NY said...

I'm SO sorry, Kim. I was wondering when you'd be getting the report. :( I have never had to read one (well, except for the occasional ones I used to read when I worked in a Legal Department but I didn't know a single person so it didn't bug me that much).

As odd as this may sound, I love the necklaces. When you told me about the thumbprints I thought that was such an AWESOME idea. I wish I had something with my Mom's and brother's.

Keeping you close to my heart, as always.


Anonymous said...

I could not even imagine having to open that envelope up. In one way it is nice to know that he didn't suffer from a stroke or something that could have caused him pain, but then to know it shouldn't have happened is another story.

So there is no recourse you can do for the truck owner? Wrongful death or anything?

This so sucks!!!

Kody Follower

JustJn said...

The necklaces are beautiful.The kids will cherish them forever. I can't believe Fla. has such crap laws. Maybe one day you could help others, even if it's only one person, by preparing them for the death cert. day. I still think of y'all daily and send hugs and luv from Az.

Cheyenne said...

Those reports are like things we know we shouldn't look at but curiosity makes us. So sorry for what you had to see and what emotions poured out once again. But it's over and done with and just another step in the realm of things that you will experience. Each day brings a little more strength.

Anonymous said...

Kim, I can't even imagine what you are going through. I guess I just wanted you to know that you & the "K" klan are in my heart & prayers.

tricia said...

I am so sorry that you had to go thru that. No wonder his company never came to tell you of the accident. How did you know the details about his truck? Too bad he didn't refuse to drive it. I have you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Deneen Gethouas said...

Those necklaces are the most gorgeous thing I ever saw in my life. God, how I wish I would have done something like that when my daughter past away. A treasure forever. Sending prayers your way for the really, really tough days. Hugs and Prayers.

Kim said...

Morgan & Morgan is who I called, unfortunately they could only help me with the Workers Comp side of it. I will say they did great with that, I only had to wait a month.
That is so funny that you mentioned "The Shack", my oldest daughter surprised me with a copy one day in the mail about 2 or so weeks after he passed. :) said...

Dear Kim,

I am so sorry that you had to go through so much pain, although you wanted to know. You always hear of loopholes in the law, too bad you couldn't find some fiesty lawyer willing to look for one like Erin Brockovich, or maybe you could contact her (look how she took on the biggest power company & won).

What a great idea to have the locket & dog tags made! It is such a beautiful thought of the boys holding or touching it when they think of their dad, and you too! You are such a loving mom! God Bless you all!

Thoughts & prayers,
Debby from Avon, OH

Anonymous said...

kim, i'm not even sure what to say here...i have followed your family on caring bridge then the blog for the past 7 years or so and i feel like i know you all personally.i havent checked on you all since around thanksgiving and when i clicked on your blog today i was shocked...i've spent the last hour crying for a family i've never met. i know there are no words i can say that will take away your pain just know that i'm thinking of you and praying for you and your family....Linda (a friend you didnt know you had)

Shiela in NY said...

Hoping you're able to get the strength to go to Mardi Gras with the boys. If so, enjoy. :)

Anonymous said...

Clearly you have information about Karl's last day that has come from someone other than Karl or did Karl call to tell you that the truck he was driving for the first time had power steering issues that someone was suppose to fix and didn't (and the person went on vacation). Karl was a good mechanic and if he knew that the truck was not safe then he would not have driven it, right? So he must not have known and you have been given this truck's issues from someone else since then (since the accident)?

I'm not saying this to question what happened, it was a horrible accident, but make sure someone else is not giving you bad information. Let's look at it from 2 different angles:
1. Karl loved you and your children. It seems he would have taken more care in getting into a truck that he knew was not safe. <--- so Karl didn't know
2. If this other person (who has talked to you since) knew that the truck was dangerous then why didn't he TELL Karl (not to drive it). <-- and this information was to comfort you? (I'd be highly suspicious of this person)

The keepsakes are lovely. The photos you have (so many wonderful photos) will be a source of comfort for your children's lifetime. Here is another book for your list: Choosing to SEE (by Mary Beth Chapman) about her and her husband (Steven Curtis Chapman) losing their little girl in a car accident
(While is has no solutions (guess you will have to wait to ask God about things) it gives you some different ways of looking at things)

Kim said...

These are the facts that I am 100% sure about.
Two days before Karl's death he spoke on the two way phone to the mechanic whos truck that belonged to. The other mechanic "D" asked him if he wanted the truck before he {D} left for vacation the next day. Karl told him ONLY if he {D} was able to fix it before he dropped it off or else no because #1 it was a piece of s**t and #2 he {Karl} wouldn't have time himself to fix it.
I heard this call because when the call came thru we were both walking into Publix to pick up some groceries.
The next day {Tuesday} Karl came home with the work truck, as it had been dropped off to him at his shop in Leesburg.
I am assuming Karl thought the struck had been fixed but afrer "D" left, Karl drove it home that night and Karl told Kolin {this is coming from Kolin who told me after Karl died} that Karl told him he was "really pissed because that truck never got fixed properly, that the power steering kept messing up badly."
Karl was the only mechanic on call {there are three or four I believe} because everyone in the company was going on vacation except Karl. It was Karl's job to take on the responsibility of two plants, Leesburg and Brooksville.
Kolin asked him if he could fix it and Karl told him he was going to have to work it in the next day because he would have to order parts and make sure all the trucks that needed to be fixed that day were fixed or he'd never hear the end of it.
At around 4 PM he got a call to get to the Brooksville shop ASAP something was broken down and they needed him there right away.
He was on his way there when for whatever reason he lost control and veered into the other lane.
At his funeral and the week or so following, I received 4 messages from 4 different drivers who told me that they knew for a fact there was something mechanical wrong with that truck.
Now, I'm not a mechanic and for the record, have no skills like that whatsoever, trust me when I tell you it took about 45 minutes for me to figure out how to put oil in my jeep last week, so I can't tell you the exacts but I can tell you in a wife's heart, there was something wrong with that truck that made him lose control.

Anonymous said...

Well then you heard things with your own ears and it sure sounds like you heard it right: That vehicle had problems and it needed to be fixed!

I'm sorry, at this point, that there is no recourse/action to take against the company that owned the truck. On top of everything else I can FULLY see why you are angry!

I'm not a lawyer (or an actor who plays a attempt at humor...sorry) but I do know that there are many lawyers out there. Perhaps you may find one that can help you at a point in the future. (I'm a person who documents everything so if you haven't done so already you might want to put everything down including the names/phone #s of those people who knew of the truck's unsafe condition. It will help you get everything out and you can share it with counsel in the future...and you can add things if more detail comes to light.)

Oh my heart goes out to you. It must be so very difficult.
(And 'yes' I'm the Anonymous person from earlier today...keeping you in my prayers!) said...

Oh girlie. :'( I thought of you yesterday as I was reading the first chapter of 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp.



Shiela in NY said...


Anonymous said...

Kim I am so sorry that you had to read that! I did the same thing with my lil boy's autopsy report and wished someone would have warned me! We pray daily for you and the family!

a friend in Utah

Lynn said...

Sometimes I just don't even know what to say.. just want to HUG YOU and cry with you. The downfall of online friends... the pain of not being able to be physically present when we want to be. Again I pray all our words would be received as love, straight to your heart.

I can only imagine how painful it was to read the physical details of the accident. :'( Yet I know you wanted to know exactly what happened to Karl that day. I'm grateful for you, that the funeral home was able to provide your family the opportunity to see him. Every person is different but in general I do believe it helps us to process the finality and reality of the situation when our eyes are able to see it.

Someone in the comments suggested the book by Mary Beth (Steven Curtis) Chapman. Though I have not read it, I also would feel good in that suggestion. I am very familiar with the Chapmans. Their teenage son accidently ran over his young sister in the driveway of their home and she died as a result of her injuries. I believe she was five yrs old, but can't remember for sure on that - she was a petite little one. It was a devastating tragedy for their family and could have utterly destroyed them. Can you imagine the burden and heartbreak their son bears. :'( I believe their story would encourage you and maybe provide strength and hope for you and the boys. Surely they have shared a similar pain and loss in that it was unexpected and a total shock and a beloved family member. It happened right there in the yard in front of the family.

Their journey of grief and sorrow and their faith which carried them to healing and hope is one we pray for you and Kody and Kolin... that you not give up and lose your hope.
I would encourage this book by the Chapmans above 'The Shack' which is fiction and a peculiar twist on faith, based only somewhat in truth. I've seen Steven Curtis and Mary Beth speak about their recent tragedy and I know their message is based on a truth which is indisputable and never changes. You can hold fast to that.

The dog tags and locket are so special. They're beautiful. I know you all treasure them.

I hope you'll keep us updated on the situation with the vehicle. What a sticky situation and the opportunity for tampering with possible evidence is definitely there. That just doesn't seem right, that it should be held for that length of time and not immediately examined by a third independent party. Sigh.

You haven't yet said, and again please know you never have to say anything to us that you don't want to say - we just love and care for you and are willing to share this pain with you, as well as encourage you in the grief and healing process. But if I may ask, what kind of vehicle did he veer into the path of that day? Car or truck? How many were in that vehicle and what was their condition? I cannot imagine it went well for that vehicle either. This is a terrible situation for all involved and I just continue to pray for God's comfort, peace, mercy, provision and healing for my Ks.
Love you guys -

Anonymous said...

I dont understand why he didnt drive another truck, surely there had to be another vehicle in working order? How can a company that sounds kinda big ( i have no clue where he worked ) have only 1 truck for 4 or 5 mechanics? I would be angry and mad as hell too.
donna, ny

Kim said...

No, they never would give him a truck, yet everyone else had one.

He hit another pick up truck, that man died as well. :(

Lynn said...

Oh nooo. Just saw your note about the other vehicle. :"( This was a truly horrible tragedy.

Ugh... sigh. Again... don't know what to say.. just wish to be there and hug your neck - again.

I'm sorry sweet girl.
Love and Hugs,

Anonymous said...

My question is , since when does a medical examiner start doing accident reconstruction? I thought they just did a persons body.

christie said...

Kim, I sent you an email, I haven't been on visiting the blogs in a couple of months and I am just now seeing all of this ...I am so , so sorry for your tragic loss =( I have been visiting your blog for so long that I feel I got to know you and the family personally. The dog tags and lockets are a wonderful way to keep Karl close in thought and are just beautiful. I know that the report had to be heartwrenching to read. Sending you big {hugs} and lots of love your way ... Christie


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