My only child, my son, Cole Kilgore was a loving, loyal, charismatic young man with beautiful blue eyes and an engaging bright smile. From a young age, Cole was very humorous. When he realized he could make those around him laugh, I believe, it became his mission to bring light and laughter to the people who gravitated towards him.
My life forever changed when I received the phone call no parent ever wants to receive. On June 4, 2011, at 6:59 p.m., I was told Cole had been in a terrible wreck. Cole made the fatal choice to jump into a 1966 Chevy truck with an impaired driver. Cole was a sober passenger. Going in speeds of 100 mph, the driver lost control of the truck and slid violently into a guardrail, causing the truck to immediately explode into flames. The driver died at the scene of the crash with a BAC of .144 with cocaine in his system.
Cole was burned over 95% of his body and lived for a total of 10 hours after the crash. While in a medically induced coma, he died on June 5, 2011, at the age of 19. Those hours are forever imprinted on my mind and in my soul. No parent should ever see their child burned alive!
Cole’s life was cut short from a split second choice. He knew the driver had been drinking, but he chose to get in the vehicle anyway after being bullied into the situation.
Cole never got the chance to get married or have children. I’ll never be a grandmother. Cole never got the chance to live his life to the fullest. This lifelong journey of grief is not how I ever planned or thought my life would be. Every day, all I want is to have Cole back, happy and whole.
Thank you for allowing me to share.
Kathy Kilgore Beeler
Cole’s Mom Forever