In preparation to write for the Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day Campaign, I had to mentally take myself back to April 14, 2006. At approximately 4:03 a.m., I received “the telephone call” that no parent wants to receive. My son, Adrian Crosby, and my cousin, Dominique Green, along with their girlfriends went to Hutchinson to celebrate Adrian’s birthday, which was April 15. Adrian would have been 22 years old the next day, and Dominique would have turned 22 years old in July. However, neither Adrian nor Dominique lived to celebrate their 22nd birthdays, and our family’s lives would forever be changed.
On the way back to Wichita, the car Adrian was driving, which happened to be my car, was hit head-on. “The driver” was driving while intoxicated and his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit.
Adrian was home on leave from the United States Navy. His ship the USS Saipan (which has been decommissioned since the wreck) was scheduled to ship out on April 27, 2006. This would have been the last leave that Adrian would have for the remainder of 2006. Dominique was going to Dallas the next day to be a pallbearer at a friend’s funeral service. Who would have thought that a birthday celebration would have turned deadly for such promising young men?
Because Adrian’s ship was being decommissioned, he had opted for the early out plan, rather than being attached to another ship. The stipulation was he had to be enrolled for the spring 2007 semester. Adrian’s plan was to attend WSU for one semester and then transfer to a school in the Dallas, Texas, area. Dominique would have graduated with a Criminal Justice Degree in the spring 2007 semester. Sadly, all of the plans that Adrian and Dominique had made for their lives were cut short, by the decision of “The driver” to drink and drive.
According to the Highway Patrol, “the driver” had received a telephone call from a friend to return to Hutchinson to pick him up. The car that the friend had been riding in was being impounded at a DUI stop, and the driver was taken to jail in Hutchinson for DUI. “The driver” turned around to go back to Hutchinson. Unfortunately, he ended up driving south in the northbound lane. Only God knows why “The driver” hit the car that Adrian was driving. Adrian and Dominique, according to the Hutchinson Coroner were dead before the car came to a complete stop on K-96. I’ve always wondered what Adrian and Dominique’s last thoughts were…what pain, if any did they feel? Did they know that death was about to consume them? And more importantly, did “The driver” realize that he was about to hit them head on? What were his initial thoughts when he realized that he had killed two young men? How does this affect him seven years later?
There have been so many family events and world events that Adrian and Dominique did not get to experience. They are loved and missed every day. Dominque’s grandmother Mary Lyons (my first cousin) and I maintain the crosses at K-96 near Mills Road as a continuous reminder of the tragedy that happened on April 14, 2006, at approximately 2:10 a.m.
This tragedy did not have to happen. Everyone who consumes alcohol has a responsibility to the public not to drink and drive. As we know, all choices have consequences, either good or bad. Please don’t endanger the lives of others because you choose to drink and drive.
Avis Crosby, mother of Adrian Crosby and cousin to Dominique Green, is a 4th grade teacher in Wichita