It showed me things can still get worse in such a tragic and senseless way…
Early in the morning on Saturday April 5th my brother in-law, Lydel Lee Knutson, died in a car accident.
My Saturday started with a call from the Red Cross. They were in need for people with my blood type (AB+) to donate platelets. She said there were only 5 people with my blood type on her list, and I was the only one she was able to get a hold of. So I went in and donated my platelets/plasma. One more donation and I will reach 4 gallons! That’s 32 donations to the Red Cross!
After the donation, Aaron and I tried to go shopping but no store in Madison had exactly what we wanted. We drove all over the west side, looking with no luck. We then got in an argument, gave-up, and just went back home.
When we got home there was a message on the machine. Aaron listened to it and said, “Some guy named Tommy left you a message, it sounds like he is breaking up with you…”
“What!? I don’t know any Tommys...” So I went over to listen to the message myself.
It was my mom’s boyfriend, Donnie (Not “Tommy”); he was crying and said I need to call him…
My first instinct was somethings has happened to my mom. They ride motorcycles, so my first thought was mom was in an accident and was injured or killed. So I braced myself for the news and called him back. That’s when I learned Lydel was the one who died… and that everyone was gathering at my mom’s. Becky wants me there and was waiting for me.
After we hung up, I totally lost it. I have been in a depressed funk for so long and this just pushed me over the edge… I screamed and screamed and cried so hard. It wasn’t fair!!! Not him! It can’t be….
Aaron tried to comfort me, but I didn’t want to be held. I just wanted to keep screaming, crying and be instantly teleported to my sister’s side. Aaron stayed calm and said we could not go yet.
“But she NEEDS ME!!!!”
“Yes, she needs you, but not when you are like this.”
I cried a lot more because what he said was true. (Why is he ALWAYS right!) Soon I was able to compose myself and we went to my mom’s. My sister was out on the back porch smoking. I went out and held her and she told me the whole story…
Becky and her husband were out at the bar she tends at celebrating the end of their Pool League with their teammates and friends. Lydel then said he wanted to go home. Becky knew neither of them were safe to drive, so she said she would call their roommate, Joel, to pick them up. The Bartender also said he’d be happy to give them a safe ride home. He had TWO safe rides home… But Lydel was naughty, snuck off and drove away by himself…
Becky was frustrated that he left, but stayed at the party. She helped the bartender close bar (since she works there too) and got a ride home from him. When she got there, Lydel was not home. She called his friends to see if he was with them with no luck. She called all the hospitals and the jails. She called everyone. No one knew where he was.
Later she drove around looking for him with their dog. She took their black lab with because she knew that if she found Lydel, he would want to see their dog.
Then she came upon the squad cars, fire truck, and saw the ambulance driving away with the lights off, and she just knew… Becky pulled over and got out of the truck. She said the firefighters and cops looked terrified to see her… not knowing what to say. They could tell who she was. Becky doesn’t really remember the next 5 minutes or so, the next thing she did remember was sitting on the gravel in the ditch and the coroner saying, “I think you already know that Lydel did not survive this accident.”
Joel, their roommate, who has been a tow truck driver for over 10 years, said that the wreck was in the top ten of the worst he had ever seen, and that says a lot. They said that even if Lydel had worn his seatbelt - he would have died in the crash. They also said he died on one of the first rolls, broke his neck. That was a comfort to Becky, knowing he died quickly. The thought of him trapped in the wreckage slowly dying for hours… it was good to know he did not suffer.
It was a huge comfort to me that Becky did not go home with him that night. I am so thankful that she is still with us… but I feel so much grief for the loss of Lydel.
Here is his obituary:
Name: Lydel Lee Knutson
Died: April 5, 2008
COTTAGE GROVE, WISCONSIN
Lydel Lee Knutson, age 28, passed away on Saturday, April 5, 2008, as a result of a car accident. He was born on Aug. 26, 1979, in Viroqua, Wisconsin. Lydel graduated from Monona Grove High School in 1998. He served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps., from 1998 to 2002. Lydel was united in marriage to Rebecca "Becky" Frey on Jan. 14, 2006. He worked alongside his dad, Lewis, as a laborer for Vogel Construction. Lydel was a member of Local Union No. 464. He was a fun loving and adventuresome person, who loved being around people. Lydel enjoyed the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. Above all, he simply loved spending time with his family and friends. Lydel is survived by his wife, Becky of Cottage Grove; his father, Lewis (Dee) Knutson of Edgerton; his mother, Karen Aycox of Jacksonville, Fla.; brother, Lewis (Jennifer) Knutson II of Ferryville; a sister, Karalee White of Baraboo; a step-brother, Cory (April Whiting) Park of Madison; paternal grandmother, Evelyn Knutson of Ferryville; two brothers-in-law, Jeffrey (Shari) Frey of Marshall and Tim Frey of Kohler; two sisters-in-law, Jessica (Aaron) Scott of Madison and Samantha Zweck of Stoughton; mother-in-law, Debra Olson of Stoughton; 13 nieces and nephews; and other family members and friends. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Leonard Knutson; sister, Alicia Knutson; and father-in-law, Thomas Frey. Funeral services will be held at ST. PAUL'S LIBERTY LUTHERAN CHURCH, 3494 Oak Park Rd., Deerfield, at 10 a.m., on Wednesday, April 9, 2008, with the Rev. Dan Anderson presiding. Burial will be at South Kickapoo Cemetery, Crawford County with military rites conducted. Visitation will be at GUNDERSON STOUGHTON FUNERAL HOME, Hwy. 51 North at Jackson St., Stoughton, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., on Tuesday, April 8, 2008.
To help Becky during this time I have set up this donation link. Your contributions, thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.
Lydel and Becky reading "Green Eggs and Ham"
to eachother Christmas 2007.