WYOMING, Mich. -- Chris Goudy was injured in a car crash in August 2013 and ended up in the hospital with cracked sternum, collapsed lungs, and cracked ribs. He was happy to be alive, but just a year and a month later, he was in a crash again, and this time it took his life.
Saturday night close family and friends gathered to honor Goudy’s memory. About 100 family and friends gathered today to remember Chris Goudy, 19, by sharing special memories, lighting candles, ,and setting off burning lanterns into the sky.
“I thought, 'What is your hurry? Is it that important? It’s not. Your life is more important,'” said Toni Goudy, Chris's mother.
A fire is lit inside Toni Goudy's heart that yearns for her son back. “I love my boy, and I miss him,” she said.
Anger for the driver that blew a red light and hit her son’s car still festers inside her. “I’m conflicted, because I want that person to hurt. But I know that's not the right thing to do."
His mother still remembers the last words Chris spoke to her before he left the house.
“He said ‘Aw, I love you, Mom,’ and that was the last thing he said to me. I will always remember that."
Toni remembers the other accident: "He had a similar accident, same circumstances. He had the green light. Someone ran the red light, and he was seriously injured and survived,” she said.
August was the one year anniversary of his surviving that crash.
“We had commented on it, and he was like, 'Wow, I am still here.' And I said, 'Yeah, you are. You are a very lucky boy.'"
Last week, Chris's luck ran out.
After the collision, his car crashed into the woods near a creek on 44th Street and Burlingame Avenue. That same creek was, coincidentally, his favorite fishing hole.
“He loved to fish, oh he loved to fish,” Toni said.
The passenger in his car is still recovering from his injuries.
Saturday night, as a hundred single flames burned bright, close family members let tears slide down their faces as they shared their fondest memories.
Kevin Elliot told his recollections of some of his favorite fun times with Uncle Chris. “Me and him used to have fun, used to play jokes about me, we used to play basketball with each other,” said Elliot.
Elliot knows he won't be able to do any of those things again with Uncle Chris. “It makes me feel sad,” he said.
Elliot has one thing he would say to Chris if he was here today: “I would say I hope you never got in a car accident,” he said.
As the bright lights floated into the sky, their lights eventually disappearing, his mother and loved ones held close their memories of Chris.
“Every once in a while I’ll just cry,” Toni said.