Saturday, July 22, 2006

Grayslake, IL Motorcyclist killed by ROW violator

Grayslake motorcyclist dies after he's hit by SUV | Chicago Tribune

John R. Russell, 39, was killed by "a teen" driving an SUV making a left turn. "The youth was cited for failure to yield the right of way".

Once again, a man is dead and the person responsible is given a traffic violation.  I'll just never understand.


Blogger Nina Russell said...

No kidding. I'm John's wife, and I've lost my best friend and a loving husband that most people search lifetime to find. I found out 2 days after he was killed that I'm pregnant. Now my child will never know his amazing daddy, I never got to tell my husband and see the look on his face, and John will never know the joy of being a daddy. The boy, Hayden Hochhalter of McHenry, was blood tested, and the tests came back positive for marijuana. Meanwhile traffic court was delayed pending further charges. He's trying to figure out how to get out of a ticket, and I'm trying to pick my life back up off the floor.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Jay's sister Kim said...

I'm so sorry for your loss...
Will you keep us posted on the charges against Hochhalter?
It's wrong that John was killed and that charges are pending with TRAFFIC court!

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im Sorry to all the family of John. If he were not riding his motorcycle almost 3 times the speed limit in a residential area he would have been seen by the boy who was on his way home from work in the middle of the day turning into his neighborhood. Also, the boy's blood work came back with NO quantitative amount of ANYTHING.
This was a serious case of wrong place wrong time for BOTH of them.
The boy involved will never be the same, nor will the little girl with him (who also never saw John crest the hill) who tried to revive him. These were kids on the way home, not loaded, not stoned, not drunk....nothing! A speeding motorcyclist made the choice to speed and it forever changed many lives involved.
Again, losing a friend, husband, son or father is awful, but he was in control of his bike, "the boy" did what every single person who has ever turned at that intersection did, he stopped, looked saw a bike in the distance and started his turn. He had no way of knowing how fast the bike was comming at him.
The healing will never start unless the blame ends

12:31 PM  
Anonymous hayden hochhalter said...

dear Nina, this is hayden. im sorry i havent gotten the chance to speek with u about what happened. i sure didnt want it to be via blog... but you have to know i am sorry. how could i not be. i think to myself; why didnt i take work off that day, a life wouldent have been taken from a loving family and friends... the list goes on... there are alot of little things that could have been done to prevent what happened. but it did that day. a man died. i saw it. it was as horible a sight. i had never been in an accident. this was overwhelming. ive had an oppertunity to read how you feel about what happened. if you would like to know the other side of the story (my side of the story) i think you might question the horible things being said about me on these blogs. im just a kid trying to do something with my life. im working at getting a degree and its not easy. sure i go to partys and have fun in the prosess, its what college is about! im alive Nina! im sorry your husbands life got cut short, but i cant dwell on it! it would kill me too! and from the looks of it your not going to stop blaming me until i am either depressed, in jail, or dead! why!? i didnt do this on purpose! i would do anything to get that man back for you! but i cant. we all know this.

i have a family that would miss me too if i were gone. i hope u can try and see this from my perspective.. im truly sorry if any of this offended you. that was not my intention. just know that im sorry but also deeply conflicted because my life is also at risk.

and for the record, i wasnt under the influence of anything including pot when the accident happened. honest to god truth. the bloodwork they took that day showed no traces of illigal substances. the urine test is what caused the drama. the urine test results even showed that i could not have been under the influence at the time of the crash.

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what is the truth NINA?

It seems that you have mislead allot of people regarding the details of the accident.

It's tragic that you lost your loved one... but to blame a poor young boy for your husband reckless driving...???

It sounds like you really loved your husband and cannot cope with the reality that the accident was his fault.

2:55 AM  
Anonymous Hayden's Mommy said...

Hayden I am so proud of you, these are things you have never even said to me. I know what you went through and how deaply it has affected your life. Your a good man and you were always a good kid.
I have read your thred on the drum2112, I can't believe that you were writing these things after the accident and accepting hugs from me in the court room. Here is the hard truth, John was speeding! The insurance ajuster said the jeep looked like a deer hit at 70 mph. He wasn't our friend and had no bias. Hayden's Jeep was at a stand still, so who was going 70 at time of impact? It was estimated that John was doing well over 90 when he came over the hill. John passed a car 2 miles prior the the crash doing well over 90. This is documented in the report along with several witnesses
that told the police he was "flying"
Now you have notified the courts in 2 states that he was involved in a cannabis bust in college. Here is another truth, He walked into his dorm room about 2 min's prior to the campus police, his roomate was having people over 6 or 7 kids in a dorm room that was about 10X14. several of his roomates friends were on his bed. The contract the kids sign in the dorm room agreement holds them both liable for anything that happens in their room. That is what happend. So, back to the cannabis thing...Hayden pled quilty to paraphanalia, not cannabis...If your going to tell the world about what an awful kid he is, get the facts straight! So now due to your spite, Hayden has to return to McHenry and go through this agian. Congrats to you, you are hurting him. I have our attorney appering for him so he doesn't miss finals, although Im sure that would make you happy. Sorry Nina, you have put me in mama bear mode, you will not continue to bad mouth my son because your hurt, without rebuttle.
If anybody has any question's about this, please ask. I have a scanner, I can email court docs to anyone who wants the truth, not Nina's ploy for simpathy and paypal funds.

9:07 PM  
Blogger flya said...

This post has been removed by the author.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You Hayden's mother for telling the truth.

I am a member of the VFR discussion group and the threads that Nina has been writing are quite strange to me.

I have been riding motorcycles for 25+ years and I've always said that 99% of all motorcycle accidents are the fault of the motorcyclists.

And if any motorcycle rider is going excessive speed they get exactly what they deserve and I have zero sympathy for them. That may sound cold.. but it's the truth.

I viewed the Google street view and you can definitely see there was a small hill...any cycle rider with a brain knows to slow down coming over a rise..

If what you say is true.. then Nina's actions on the VFR discussion forum is inexcusable.

If in fact there was a witness to John's speeding.. then case closed.

Good Luck in life Hayden.

And to Nina... I'm sorry you lost your husband and Aly's father. Be strong.

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Hayden's Mom said...

After two years of reading the posts and having every reply I've made earased, I can't tell you how nice it is to hear someone tell Hayden to do well. Thank you! he has only gotten the negitive and blame.
I too couldn't feel worse for Nina and her situation, but enough is enough. This new trial will cost me more than I have and I hope Hayden is strong enough to get through it with an ounce of sanity left. He realy is a wonderful human.
I read some more of Nina's posts last night, one surprised me...she has no money due to John not having life insurance? that part may be true, but my insurance company paid her quite an amount. The jeep had max coverage, I know it was at least 500k limits.
anyway, God bless all involved, lets hope this is the last of it and move on. Nina has had her say, All I can hope for is this last trial to end soon and not ruin Hayden's life. When you google his name all you see are Nina's posts. He has already been effected with employement and friends. He is working on a 4 yr degree and I hope he can use in this computer age without having to change his name.
Again Thank you for taking the time to google the street and writing what you did. Its the first time in a while I have hope for the truth.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am disgusted with the VFR Discussion forum and how one sided it is to the facts.

What is the point of having a Discussion forum if every time the other side gets posted the moderator edits the posts?????

That is just insane!

I think there are allot of folks on the forum that should be ashamed of themselves.

How is this still going to court if there are witnesses that say he was going at least 90 mph? HOW?

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to see a copy of the police report...

Could you please email me a copy to


12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The VFR forum mod wants any info on the matter... So please do email me the police report.. we can try to clear up the facts.

Be strong Hayden...

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Hayden's Mom said...

I have dug and dug, after speaking with the Haydens Lawer he said he has the report. I will get it and post it. Question is Nina? if you have it why dont you post it?
in addition, the person you all claim to be me is NOT! I dont even know this persons name, although i do thank him/her for their quest for the truth.
Nina, the truth will come out, in your last thread you admitted he "could have been speeding" POST THE POLICE REPORT! why woudn't you if I were full of it.
Dont worry though, I will have it posted if its the last thing I do!
You have been BS'ing good people and taking money based on your lies. Hayden is a great person and the only reson he was deemed "at fault" is because of the motorcycle laws in IL. Doesnt make it right though.
Hayden and I both got counciling to deal with this, i think its time you do the same. and by the way, you are not the only one taking antidepressants and being hurt. I let you talk shit for 2 years because I felt sorry for you. Making sure this all cmae back and happy to have it in court again? your just mean and the facts of this case will prove that!
Get on with your life and don't teach Jack's daughter to be a hater too! he sounds like a good man that wold probably like you to drop it as well...he was there.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Hayden's Mom,

My name at this point is irrelevant. For now I'm someone who cares for your family who lives Michigan and rides a VFR.

I read the posts by Nina on VFR discussions. They were odd. She clearly needs counseling..and she is using the thread as comfort food. The thread is false comfort.

I saw the anonymous post about Jack's speed and that was enough for me. Any cycle rider speeding is asking for trouble. I did some of my own research because clearly the Mod's weren't caring about the facts and I discovered this blog.

If you email me the report via I will give you my name.

If you check the VFR discussions you will see that the thread has taken on a new meaning. A meaning of fact finding. But the VFR Mod's don't seem to be interested in the facts.

I can understand that the thread can be used for Jack's memory... That is fine. Then we start a new thread for the fact finding. Bottom line, if Nina is putting your family through hell because of Jack's reckless driving.. That is a tragedy as great as his death.

I asked Nina to post the report too.. and no response... ? The thread has been locked now.. but she can PM me the report if she wants the facts known.

I think the VFR members will read the thread and those with half a brain and a slight bit of dignity will see that Nina is in the wrong.

I for one am incapable of stomaching such a disservice to justice. I wish I could do more for you and Hayden but all I can do is give you a professional cycle riders opinion.

Know this Hayden... You are not at fault. The cycle rider was 100% @ fault. (If in fact he was speeding) That cycle rider put himself in an extremely hazardous situation and he paid with his life.

I think we should start a thread and setup a paypal account for you and your family..It seems to me that your family is a victim of Jack's reckless driving.

What freakin' judge would not just throw this case out? I don't get it?

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Haydens Mom said...

The judge could not throw it out... It was 1 of 4 fatality accidents on Green street that year, 2or 3 i believe were motorcycles. Nina was in the DA's office raising hell from day one...her pregnacy added to the drama. It was an election year and what more can be said about that.
Its a small town and somthing like this is big news.

I am a single mother, my boys 17 and now 20 are doing all they can to forget this, now they can't thanks to Nina and her investigating Hayden's every move.
I am a Vet tech and work 40-55 hours a week just to survive and pay my bills, thank God I have a job! Now I'm faced with more lawer fee's, travel expence, time off work, undoubtily more therapy for Hayden and a 17 year old who was put on the back burner then and is feeling he will be again. I am torn! I am broke and i am scared for Hayden. I still owe attorney fees from 2 years ago and I honestly don't know how im going to pull this off. I have never thought to ask for help and wouldnt know how.
Since this happened Hayden has had Heart trouble and depression. i also take anti-depressants and anxity meds. This has effected our lives more than Nina will ever know.
All I can ask for is a future for my son, without being labled as a killer, and a way to pull off round two court battles.
I am also requesting that my attorney send me the fax he recieved from the DA's office, anonymously, that showed Hayden had NO quanitative amount of anything in his blood. That would make a lot of people liers including our "cop friend", as Nina puts it. This was a bad deal for everyone involved, I wish it had ended with the last court date.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, after reading your blog, I feel the need to respond.

You say the motorcyclist was going 3 times the speed limit, - really? No where on a police report does it state 90 miles an hour. Witness saying speeding, why weren't they in the court room? The answer is because there weren't any. Nina had possession of the police report as soon as it was available. Hayden had equal access to the report of his own accident, so it's not Nina's responsibility to prove anything and provide it to you. If you're so certain it supports your story, then why don't you post it? No where does it state John passed someone on the right or quote a speed. Why don't you post this mysterious document that does? It sure isn't the police report!Were you there or are you listening to Hayden's mother or Hayden himself? Attached is a picture of the street where John was hit by this kid and he lay dead. Hill? Do you see a hill or a small incline where any vehicle, grill or not would not be able to see a RED motorcycle coming with a large gentleman on it also wearing RED! Hayden's jeep did have a grill, however, it also had oversized tires which puts him higher than most vehicles. This should have enabled him to SEE more than most and why would his parents let their 17 year old child drive a vehicle that prevented a good view of oncoming traffic. I visited the accident scene myself. You will have to forgive me for my temper, but this kid made an incredibly bad choice to turn in front of this man. If he had no way to know how fast the bike was coming, then how did anyone come up with 90 miles an hour? Was there an accident investigation done? Why don't you post that as proof? If he had no way to know how fast the bike was coming, shouldn't he have made the wise choice and waited until it passed? John didn't even have time to swerve out of the was to late. Hayden was not standing still. If he was, then how was the Jeep dented on the front passenger quarter panel? He turned DIRECTLY in front of John! The pictures of Hayden's vehicle proved that, not hearsay.

You stated any motorcyclist speeding deserves what he gets? PLEASE! As a rider myself, what an ignorant statement to make! Don't you dare say you never drove over the speed limit. We all have and we don't deserve to be killed! Harsh word isn't it? However, that's what happened. This man was KILLED. He will never see his daughter's beautiful face, nor will she meet her father, other than pictures and letters from family. You think a hug in the courtroom should make it all better? You obviously have never experienced such a loss.

How dare you attack this widow when you obviously DON'T KNOW THE FACTS OF THIS CASE! If you knew the facts or investigated this case as you claim to have, you would have found that Hayden had a less than desirable driving record and a speeding ticket of his own at the time of the accident. Did Hayden deserve to die for speeding? Why don't you ask Hayden or his mother how many times a towing company had to pull his vehicle out of a ditch or worse because he was driving recklessly in the past few months preceding this accident.. Why don't you ask his step-dad (single mom??), why he was so angry with mom for getting the jeep out of the shop and handing it over to the boy again! Listening to the Mother who is worried that her son's life will be ruined? How about John's mom who's son's life has ended?

Nina's busy living her life and doesn't waste time following Hayden's every move. She did not contact the state of CO - the state of Illinois is opening this case, not the widow, and is coming for him because he violated the already lenient plea they offered! Did you know, Hayden plead GUILTY to possession in Colorado? As Hayden's mother is stating, if innocent Hayden walked into the room 2 minutes before the police came in, then WHY would he plead guilty to possession? It's always somebody else's fault, isn't it? You say there was no quantitative amount of anything in his blood, yet lo and behold, his tests came back positive, it was strong enough evidence to survive the trial. Then Hayden's response casually says partying (although illegal) is just part of the college, and apparently high school experience.

I'd like touch on a few more of comments you made...

Thanking Hayden's mother for "telling the truth" GET YOUR FACTS STAIGHT! You're thanking her yet not checking them out for yourself is a mis-justice.

Nina is putting the Hochalter through hell? That family RAN! They up and moved before the proceedings were even over! How about teaching your son to take responsiblity for his actions, not trying to get him out of this scott free! Now, we know that can't happen because he was once again CHARGED with possession to which he pleaded guilty! Hell is having your husband ripped from your life and then finding our your pregnant, NOT having your son go away to college!

The biker was 100% at fault.... Again, GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT - John was not 100% at fault... Even the insurance company, notorious as they are for doing anything to keep from paying out on a claim, gave Hayden 100% fault in the accident. And by the way, maybe you should have asked the insurance company how much they paid out. Hayden's mother stated she know's that John's policy was at least 500k, but you're wrong about that too. In fact, after the lawyer got his piece, there was enough to pay for the birth of John's daughter and the start of a college fund that he's no longer here to contribute to. You say she's struggling, but can still afford to move and send her son to college. Taking money based on lies? Nope. It's true that John died and when he did, his paycheck stopped. Did you know that the total raffle amount wasn't enough to pay for a funeral?

Now, I expect to be blasted from you, and that's fine...I can take it, but I do ask you to get your facts straight first and NOT just listen to hearsay from the mother of the accused! Not to mention Hayden who says he "can't dwell on it".

I could truly go on and on, however, it's pointless. John is dead! Even though it was an accident, Hayden killed this man and is continuing to live his life in a not so admirable way. If Hayden had learned a lesson from this, he would not be in a court room pleading guilty to possession.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Anonymous Too said...

My posting came up incorrect! it should have come up Anonymous Too.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Anonymous Too said...

Haydens Mom, I feel the need to address your comments as well.

Not 1 of those 4 cases were "thrown out" of court! And how cruel of you to trivialize the deaths of the people involved in those accidents. It had nothing to do with re-elections! Nina in the DA's office would have happened weather she was pregnant or not..her husband was KILLED, and by the way, she was invited there! If your husband had been killed, wouldn't you be in court to honor him? The pregnancy only made it that much worse for her to get there and deal with EVERYTHING thrown at her! Drama, you say? No. Learning you're pregnant 2 days after your husbands death is tragic and it was her reality. It is not "drama". So you say in the midst of learning of her husband's death, that she was now pregnant and widowed, trying to keep from losing her house on one income and working overtime at her job, you actually think tracking down your son was her main focus? How foolish you must be. This "small town" is part of the reason you and your family lived there in the first place, so saying it with a derogatory innuendo is interesting!

I am sorry to hear you are NOW single, however, you were not single at the time of the court proceedings. You should thank God you have found a job in a new town to which you RAN to before the proceedings were over. Your travel expenses were thrust upon you due to YOUR CHOICE to FLEE, not by any other means. Your broke, yet you son is in college? How are you paying for that? (don't answer that, I truly don't want to know.)

Nina had nothing to do with "Investigating Hayden's every move". This case was reopened by the State of Illinois and the county of McHenry upon finding out that Hayden has broken his lenient probation, not just once but perhaps twice now. How can you blame John's widow for Hayden's actions? Where is Hayden's responsibility in this? Oh, I know, he is just "Partying" (his words) in college as college kids do! So Hayden himself claims that partying is just normal college fun, and he's been tested positive at least once that we know of, but when he's caught doing it...again, you say he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (Hmmm, THAT sounds familiar). If there was any truth or substance to what you claim, then why did Hayden lose the case? Seems like in an entire year your lawyer would have come up with something. Oh, yeah. It was the fault of the 4 people who inconveniently died in accidents before John.

"Cop Friend" comment is interesting as well since the COP is the one who told Nina and her family at the hospital that he was "A friend of your family". After sitting in the court room one day, hearing the police officer tell the truth, and then hearing a women whom I believe was Hayden's aunt yell obscenities and constantly saying Liar proved he was no longer a "friend". If you have forgotten that day, rest assure I have not! I was so happy when the court secretary AND the bailiff told this women if she did not contain herself, she would have to leave the courtroom. All thought the dirty looks didn't stop, the mouth did! Nina, however, as difficult as it must have been, remained silent from month to month as the trial continued for a year, and then had to endure you in the hallway when first you hugged her, and then you attempted to blame her husband for his own death. Even if you believe that to be true in your heart, it was an incredibly cruel and selfish thing for you to say to her.

Bottom line, we all know your son did not make a conscience decision to kill someone, however, that's exactly what he did! Should he be labeled a Killer? Probably not as it was an accident, however, Hayden needs to understand that for every action, there is a consequence. The consequence of Haydens action cost a very good man his life.

I congratulate you for having your family in counseling... everyone involved benefits from this and helps in healing!

You are correct, this is a bad deal for everyone! This bring up all kinds of pain and awful memories, however, none of this would have happened and it may have ended with the last court date if Hayden kept himself OUT of line of fire.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you have anything to say to my my Aunt Nina, Tell her. Not in a blog. I am 19, and also a college student. But I do not use a single drug because of what happened that day. I learned. You should. My aunt is entirely aware that this was not done on purpose and that you made a mistake. If you knew a single thing about her you would see that she looks at your viewpoint. She does not hate you, nor will she ever. But there is a 2 year old girl who will never meet her daddy and you DO need to accept some sort of punishment for that. This is where the plea comes in. Which you recently violated. What happens, happens. You have full control of what happens from here on out. One day you will have a family and you will see what you could lose. Until then, just think about this.

Hayden's Mommy,
Uncle Jack was not going 3x the speed limit, get your facts straight. It is NOWHERE on the report. Hayden took TWO drug tests. One blood and one urine. blood was inconclusive. Urine WAS POSITIVE. You know the facts as much as we do so there is no point in spinning this. The results are public record. Of course you will stand up for your son. Just like if he were killed by someone WITH a POSITIVE drug test, you would seek justice. As we have. He has violated his plea hence the court date today. It is great that he has apologized but my aunt wouldn't get through a day if she read these blogs consistently. He broke the rules and stole something from my family.
One last thing, you should REALLY stop playing the speeding game because as I recall Hayden was on supervision for his own speeding ticket at the time he killed my uncle. Hayden only had counseling because it was REQUIRED in his plea. Last, please do not attack my aunts parenting skills. She is raising a beautiful little girl that wouldn't hurt a fly. She is gentle and couldn't fathom hate. That is unnecessary. You have your son, and Aly is all she has now. You have lied SO much on this and it is disappointing.

VFR Viewer,
The only thing inexcusable is an unbiased person attacking a woman who recently lost her husband, and is a single mother now to a daughter who will never have met her daddy. Especially opposed to a boy who is ALIVE. That is all that matters, my uncle is dead and he has some requirements to meet for two years. He go off easy and everyone knows it. We are at peace with that. So why attack her? Why attack anybody. Also, anybody that rides should also know, bikes do not stand up to a JEEP. a fullsized car. They are unsafe in almost anyway. You risk your life everyday.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having followed this blog for quite some time I feel I need to speak up. John Russell was my brother in law. I was the first one to the hospital and I was the person who had to tell my sister and parents that he was gone.
Jack was a gifted man. Gifted in the way he could make a person feel. He was very generous with praise and hugs and one of the most logical minded people i have ever met. knowing all this and the reason he was going home that day I doubt very much he was speeding excessively. Thats just my opinion for what its worth.
Having been a licensed driver for many years, with a perfect driving record i also know that this accident could have been avoided. regardless of speed it is the job of the driver to avoid an accident. What your basically saying "Haydens mommy" is that it was okay for your son to hit him because john was speeding. That this makes his culpability any less? Thats just completely ridiculous.
I work in a high school. I have experienced the effects that drug abuse can have on teens. I have attended many seminars on the very subject of the immediate and lasting effects of drug use. We have watched as a family together what the effects of drugs will do. I say this to you "Haydens mommy" as a mother. You are not doing your child any favors by making excuses for him. Time for him to man up. Help him to get some help before its too late. Thats what a good mom does.
This is not my sisters doing. This was the doing of your son the minute he made that lapse in judgement and made that left hand turn. My sister did not start this. She will stand by her husbands memory though. You can try to paint that as a bad thing all you want but it is what it is. Your hurtful words wont change that and they wont help your son. heres a link yo may find interesting. it studies the effects of drug use and driving. pot stays in your system a long time. its effets stay in your system a long time. for months afterward. its effects your judgement and reaction time for a long time as well.
Get your child some help before its too late. you are not helping him by blaming his mistakes on someone else.If you continue this pattern you are only harming him. Of course you dont have to any of this but id like to see the two of you in ten years if you dont make some changes. My bet this will only have been the beginning of his trouble. You gonna blame John then too? That would be an easy out for you wouldnt it? Then you have no blame.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I was involved in the motorcycle accident itself,(I was the passenger) and I too have been keeping up with the blogs/posts and articles on and off ever since the accident happend.
I understand the loss that has occured and although I did not know the man personally, I was the one who called 911 while stumbling out of the vehicle, and ran to see if he was ok. What some people dont realize is that if we had been further in our turn, John would have directly hit me and I could have died or been paralyzed forever. That image has been left imprinted in my mind forever and after reading all of this arguing going back and forth I think that people are forgetting the real issue.
A man died that day, and whether it was on purpose or not that is the reality so every one needs to stop making excuses. Both sides can point fingers forever but he will never be brought back.
I understand Nina's frustration with the Justice System and if I were in her situation I could only imagine what I would do beyond that. I do not personally know her but I have a deep respect for her and we are all connected in a way because of what has happend, and I can only assume that the actions she has taken were necesary to keep her sanity and her cool while raising a family without a father. So no one, should attack her for what she has been saying ever.
I have known Hayden's family for quite a while and I know that if D lost Hayden all hell would break loose especially if there could have been evidence of the person being on drugs. (although neither of us were at the time,but I have not done a single drug because of that day and I also am in college working on a degree therfore it is no excuse.)
On the other hand I think that we all need to step back and realize why Hayden's family is trying to stick to the facts on the police report, although death would not be a result of his punishment, this could ruin his life in maybe ever becoming a sucessful human being. Any respectable company will take one look at his record and turn him down or maybe he will go to jail and his famiy will loose him for a certian amount of time although I want to restate that I know this is no comparasson to losing a loved one forever.

There is no doubt in my mind that Hayden is not the best at making decisions in anything.. I just want every one to try and understand both sides. I was there and at the time I was dating Hayden and I try to although me and him are not on speaking terms for other reasons. I wish I was never involved.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Hayden's Mom said...

Very well said. Your a good girl and I hope life is going well for you.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the passenger. I've stayed away from this post because I've been doing my best to be productive and positive. I'm thankful for my family who have chose to support me and John on this post.

Contrary to what Hayden and his "mother" would have you believe, the charges against Hayden were raised by McHenry, and not by me. They have followed his compliance, or rather, lack of compliance to his plea agreement, and have chosen to enforce them. While I have been in attendance at the hearings in honor of my husband, my name exists nowhere on those documents.

As for the police report. I requested a copy immediately after the accident. Hayden could have done the same and there is no reason for me to supply it to him or produce it as proof. There is no mention of speed on the police report, but that seems to be the justification used for making an illegal left turn. The law according to Hayden seems to be that if I see a bright red motorcycle coming my way, and even though I (as a defensive afterthought) believe he's going too fast, figure it's ok to race him across the intersection.

Funny thing is that they taught me during my motorcycle class just 2 months earlier, to use speed to avoid an accident if I thought I could get out of the way. Has nobody considered this? No. Of course, not. It wouldn't suit the story. Sounds better to turn a respectable, documented safe driver, into a speed demon in order to justify hitting him.

Again, Hayden's own actions, no one else's, have brought upon him these consequences. It is not my fault, or my husband's fault if Hayden makes choices that are damaging to his life. His hands were on the wheel, his decision to make the turn, his decision to continue drug use and break the plea.

Attempting any conversation with Hayden would be completely lost. There's no way he'll understand any of our family's loss until the day he feels unselfish love either to the woman he marries, or his child one day. And to waste my effort or any further thought towards his "mother", would be futile.

Young lady passenger, you've expressed yourself respectfully, and while I don't agree with everything you've said, I admire the way you've presented yourself and that you have made positive changes in your life. I do feel sorry that you must keep the images of that day in your head. I was told that you tried to revive my husband. For that effort, you will always be in my heart. Even without being there, I too have those images in my head, and there's still many a night that I lye awake because of them. I imagine my husband hitting the jeep, the pain and fear he felt, and the image of him lying on the road alone as his life drained away. I think and rethink the things I could have changed or done to prevent his death. Why didn't I talk him out of buying the bike, call him at work and stall him just a few minutes more...

Yes, you're right, if Hayden had been further into the turn, you may have been killed or injured. I don't blame you for thinking defensively for your life. However, if Hayden had not turned in front of him at all, my husband would not have been killed. He'd be sitting her next to me and his daughter. If Hayden had simply obeyed the rules of traffic, none of our paths would ever have crossed, and I'd give anything not to know any of you this way.

Have a good life young lady, and be well.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time to move on. Blame gets no one anywhere. Time to heal. To everyone involved, God Bless

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moving on is something I've done. Defending my husband's good name and speaking the truth is something I'll never stop. God Bless.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As of today 1/14/09 moving on

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear everyone is moving on. I think we have all struggled to finally move on, despite all the questions that still remain. Not sure if the answers are all that important anymore. John IS my brother. I say "IS" because he is still alive and well in my memories. That's all that is left anyhow, and the blame game never brought anyone back, last I checked. I still often dream of John. I still get the same "bear" hug, where I'm reminded of his "soapy" smell, the sound of his voice and his trademark chuckle. Those will never die.
The reality is: I was Hayden at one time in my life. I too experimented with drugs and alcohol, drove recklessly and, until I learned a few hard life lessons, thought the world revolved around me. Never did I think that my behavior could ever pose a threat to someone else's livelihood. Fortunately, I never found myself in Hayden's position, although I am very surprised that I did not. Hayden, I am sympathetic to what motivates a kid to keep on wanting to be a kid. Keeping the dream alive at all costs, so I didn’t miss out on the next best thing, was my only goal at that age. How can I keep this party going? Been there, buddy.
I also scrambled to cover my tracks, when caught in something I knew I shouldn't be doing, but inevitably took responsibility. And, it was a good thing that my parents NEVER covered for me when the shit hit the fan either. Hayden's mother will never say he was wrong, and I can understand her attempt to assign blame to my brother. Like the family John left behind, self-preservation kicks in and we feel the need to defend his memory. It is a fait accompli, and just as Hayden's passenger stated, "people are forgetting the real issue." Closure is the only thing left to strive for at this point, right?
I grew up with John, and I can tell you that he was a bit of an adrenaline junky, like the rest of us. Although he was very much a teetotaler, he had a passion for bikes and cars, even cars like the one Hayden drove himself. That is something they both had well in common. John knew the risks associated with owning a bike, and certainly would have been the first guy to agree with the VFR rider that "speed kills". Having a trauma surgeon for a Dad, we were all raised with a healthy respect for firearms, cars/motorcycles and their inherent dangers. We heard ALL the stories, of course, never thinking that John would fall victim to one of his own.
John’s dead, Hayden is not. This is one of those hard life lessons that present an opportunity to take stock and reflect on where things went wrong. We’ve all been hurt from this and have since grown from it. However, routinely finding yourself at the scene of accidents and other wrongdoings, and then claiming to be a hapless and unwitting bystander, falls a bit short with me. As I think it would in any court of law. They know the meaning of the word recidivism better than anyone out there, and see it time and time again. Unfortunately, being so heavily invested in the emotions we feel on both sides, closure is far off until we decide to embrace what life has to offer and stop living in the past. Life will go on, as we are forced to go through this as a means of getting past it, and I wish Hayden the best in his future endeavors. The ball’s in your court now.

3:54 PM  

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