Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,852 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My wonderful next door neighbors son was killed today in an accident. He was doing his job when something went wrong and his life was over. A truly great guy, a loving husband, a dedicated son and he adored his 2 year old daughter.

Simply doing his job, although his job was not a typical job. He was an advanced driving instructor for Richard Petty Motorsports and he was in the managment of the Driving Experience for the Speedway at Walt Disney World. He was riding in the passenger seat of a Lambroghini which was being operated on the speedway as part of their Exotic Driving Experience. We do not have the specific details of precisely what occured, just a general description.

The driver was operating the Lambroghini on the track and lost control and the sports car struck a guardrail with the passenger side of the vehicle. My neighbors oldest son was the instructor in the passenger seat. The angle of the collision along with other factors still under investigation resulted in this wonderful young man, who was a truly gifted and experienced race car driver, losing his life.

The shockwaves that this has sent through our homes is simply stunning. I was standing in the driveway talking to his mother about him and his wife and daughter at the time the accident occured. While she didn't get called until an hour or so later and we obviously had no idea what was occuring while we were speaking about him, I never imagined what could be occuring. While we were discussing the next time he was coming home with his family and reflecting about his visit here over Easter which also was a celebration of his grandparents 65th wedding anniversary, it never occured to me that we wouldn't see him again during this life.

My neighbors are devastated by the news. In shock would be an understatement. Just like that, he is gone. Leaving a beautiful and loving wife and their precious 2 year old daughter. I am still stunned.

Although I have lost many people who were important and close to me, you still never get ready for the shock of the news. And when a death is so sudden and unexpected, the news takes your breath away.

Life is certainly precious. While we get into discussions about tractors and even into politics and problems with neighbors on this forum, it all seems so insignificant when the reality of life reminds us that we are each only here for a short while in perspective and some, have even less time to spend with those they love.

Rest in Peace my friend, G.T. You will be missed by many who really love you.:brokeheart::cry:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,072 Posts
Sorry to hear about that. I tell my kids all the time to cherish the time you have because any one of those moments could be your last
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,009 Posts
God's Speed

I have been involved with motorsports since I was a teen, it is brutally unforgiving of lack of skill or an inflated ego. I have lost many racing friends over the years, always tough.

I found the news video and report, I will be honest, when I saw the picture of the car resting against the infield barrier my first thought was that they were going opposite of standard racing travel as the car appeared to impact the end and the tracks I have either raced or spectated on always have the leading edge of the barriers are curved inward in order to present a rounded area to impact against.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,075 Posts
So sorry to hear of this tragic accident. Life is fragile, family is important. Getting together, breaking bread, laughing and smiling and having fun, and just plain enjoying ones family, is so precious. Often when my three are over with their families I sit back and just watch and smile, how wonderful!! :thumbup1gif:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,433 Posts
So sorry to hear this. They are in my prayers.

Weird, I heard about this on the 10:00 srn news last night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,419 Posts
Condolences to you and your neighbors.

A good friend of mine, and owner of the company I used to work for was an avid race car driver. He crashed and died during a practice run, really sad day.

Life definitely is precious. My motto: "Every day I wake up is a Good Day. Some days not as good, other days very good, but never a bad day."
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,113 Posts
There is nothing worse than losing one of your children. My thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.
Exactly right and something they will never forget. My heart and prayers go out to the family, friends and all involved.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,852 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Sorry to hear about that. I tell my kids all the time to cherish the time you have because any one of those moments could be your last
God's Speed

I have been involved with motorsports since I was a teen, it is brutally unforgiving of lack of skill or an inflated ego. I have lost many racing friends over the years, always tough.

I found the news video and report, I will be honest, when I saw the picture of the car resting against the infield barrier my first thought was that they were going opposite of standard racing travel as the car appeared to impact the end and the tracks I have either raced or spectated on always have the leading edge of the barriers are curved inward in order to present a rounded area to impact against.
So sorry to hear of this tragic accident. Life is fragile, family is important. Getting together, breaking bread, laughing and smiling and having fun, and just plain enjoying ones family, is so precious. Often when my three are over with their families I sit back and just watch and smile, how wonderful!! :thumbup1gif:
There is nothing worse than losing one of your children. My thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.
So sorry to hear this. They are in my prayers.

Weird, I heard about this on the 10:00 srn news last night.
Condolences to you and your neighbors.

A good friend of mine, and owner of the company I used to work for was an avid race car driver. He crashed and died during a practice run, really sad day.

Life definitely is precious. My motto: "Every day I wake up is a Good Day. Some days not as good, other days very good, but never a bad day."
Exactly right and something they will never forget. My heart and prayers go out to the family, friends and all involved.
Thank you to everyone who has recognized the loss of this really wonderful young man. His family is extrodinarily close and they are always there for one another, regardless of distance or other logistical challenges. He has a large extended family. Just this past November, his younger brother was married and G.T., who lost his life, was the best man in the wedding.

It has been a privalege to know this family and to be a part of their lifes, even these tragic moments. I have communicated with his mother again throughout today and they are just beginning to deal with this very untimely and horrific loss. There are some people who you meet in life that leave you with a special impression, a good feeling. You just know that your life is better for having met this person and for their friendship. This young man was just that kind of person.

He simply adored his 2 year old daughter and he was a very loving and good husband. My heart has physically ached since getting this news yesterday. When you get dealt such a loss and there is nothing you can do but love and support those who have lost him, it leaves you with such an inadequate feeling inside.

Life has a way of really sending us wake up calls. It is what we learn from these life events and how we choose to treat others we encounter, which form many of the memories of each of us that we will someday leave behind. I know I always try to be the type of person that would make my mother, who died at her age 48, proud of me. One day, we will all be reunited again. Until that time, making the most of life and helping others and being a good person is a prudent plan by which to live my life.

Again, I thank all of you who have responded for your kind words, thoughts and prayers for this young man and his family.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,921 Posts
His family is very fortunate to have you as a neighbor and more importantly as a friend. Even though it is tough on you as a friend, I'm sure they appreciate your support more than you will ever know.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,741 Posts
Very sad , please pass on condolences to the family, sounds like a very nice young man taken away to soon.

Parents aren't suppose to bury the kids, may he RIP.

Nothing away from your post but seen where a 67 man was killed yesterday when his tractor rolled over on him.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,228 Posts
God Bless him and his family.

What I will say is that he died doing what he loved - and that is something that most can't say. I know that in the short term that is no consolation for his friends and family, but if he was doing that job I'm guessing that he was some sort of accomplished driver, which is something to be really proud of.

Fun most often comes with risk. Fun also makes us smile and laugh and helps us enjoy our time here. Losing someone is always hard, but I'd rather die in an airplane that I'm flying that drooling on myself in an old folks home.

-J.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,852 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
His family is very fortunate to have you as a neighbor and more importantly as a friend. Even though it is tough on you as a friend, I'm sure they appreciate your support more than you will ever know.
Thank you for your kind words. Just today, our local paper ran a front page story on this tragic accident and in the story, they omitted some important and very relevant facts. When I personally drove to the newspapers office this morning to advise them of their error and oversight, I was quite surprised at the guys "flippant" attitude about the entire event. I had to bite my tongue and count to 10 because what I did say was quite different from what I wanted to say. But, I had to remind myself to be the bigger person and I was. The guy who I spoke with was a "News Supervisor", so he is supposed to be "a boss". Otherwise I would have thought the guy was a temp employee based upon his attitude.

Essentially, the story which they ran omitted mentioning the Gary's mother and wife's names, but they did specifically mention his father and brother as living in the area. When I told him of their error, his comment was "Just because we ran one story doesn't mean we are going to run another." I asked him if running the CORRECT story was important. He responded that they "might update their facebook (which I refer to as WASTEBOOK) page". I told him that the Orlando Sentinel newspaper had done a very professional reporting of the story and they actually got the facts correct, so perhaps they could get permission from the Orlando Sentinel to "rerun" their story in the paper for this families hometown.

Oddly enough, this paper like many local newspapers, has shrunk in size and is a mere shadow of it's former self. With an atttiude from this "News supervisor" It is apparent where some of their problems lie. But despite my frustration, I remained professional and did my best to update the FACTS related to this story. Anyway, sorry to digress into this rant......

Again, thank you for your kind words. I really believe in being a great neighbor and helping out others anytime I can. I just wish more people felt the same way.

Very sad , please pass on condolences to the family, sounds like a very nice young man taken away to soon.

Parents aren't suppose to bury the kids, may he RIP.

Nothing away from your post but seen where a 67 man was killed yesterday when his tractor rolled over on him.
Thank You. Any loss is certainly sad and the death of anyone deserves proper mention and respect.


God Bless him and his family.

What I will say is that he died doing what he loved - and that is something that most can't say. I know that in the short term that is no consolation for his friends and family, but if he was doing that job I'm guessing that he was some sort of accomplished driver, which is something to be really proud of.

Fun most often comes with risk. Fun also makes us smile and laugh and helps us enjoy our time here. Losing someone is always hard, but I'd rather die in an airplane that I'm flying that drooling on myself in an old folks home.

-J.
Thank you for your kind words and sentiment. I have had to unhook my grandmother from the life support machine when I was in my mid 20's, and my mother died a slow and painful death from colon cancer at her age 48. My father also had cancer and was in a nursing home (excuse me, a "Assisted Living Facility") where such progressive decline and the loss of all dignity occured daily. To me, that type of death is almost a punishment when they have no recollection of anything or anyone and can do absolutely nothing for themselves and they wither away while warehoused among others in the same or similar situations.

Please don't misunderstand my comment about the slow death in a facility as being in anyway critical of the nursing homes or the people who staff them. They have an incredibly difficult job and frankly they MUST do what so many can't or won't do for their family and loved ones. Without these working angels, I can't imagine what would happen to so many people needing their care.

My wife and I have never had any children despite being married 32 years this fall. But we have adopted and rescued several canine companions who are part of our family. When a pet reaches a point where it's suffering has surpassed it's enjoyment of life and the animals abilty to enjoy life is overwhelmed by it's medical suffering, we are truly grateful for the ability to end their suffering in a kind and compassionate manner. We love them during their lives and we love them so much that we will NOT allow them to suffer and struggle when their is no hope for their condition improving.

Having to end a canine family members life is something which I certainly do NOT enjoy nor do I ever look forward to having to do this, but we are extremely grateful for the ability to end their suffering and to hold them and comfort them as their life ends. We have had to do this 8 times now and in each case, the canine kid seemed to welcome the ability to cease their pain and suffering. They never try to flee nor do they resist or struggle, they simply cuddle with us to the extent they are able until they get the first injection to relax them and then the next injection to end their life.

To me, dying either doing what you love as happened to Gary or ending the life before all of the unnecessary suffering and pain and anguish is a far better solution than lying their withering away while dying a slow and undignified death. I mean what parent really wants their loved one and children or grandchildren to have to change their diapers and do all of the other things which so many people can not do for themselves?

My wife and I have discussed, at length, precisely what we want to have done when something happens to either of us. We have completed all of the necessary legal documents and declarations to make sure our wishes are honored as much as possible. We have even discussed our extremely strong feelings about not wanting to either be a burden, either emotionally, financially and or physically, or to wither in a long term facility. While our wishes will one day be very , very emotionally difficult to actually implement, knowing that is what we want and the promises we have made to one another, we will do whatever we can to honor one another.

So, for Gary to lose his life doing what he loved, is a blessing once it was his time to be called to Heaven. The shock and emotional distress of a sudden death, while hurting no less emotionally, is by far the preferred way to leave this life for the next adventure. To die doing what one truly loves is, in my opinion, a very special gift from god that only a select few will be privaledged enough to experience. I pray that such a gift is available to me and those I love.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,228 Posts
You did a good thing going down to that newspaper. Perhaps newsboy's boss should hear about his flippant attitude?? I'm guessing that your local paper is part of a much larger conglomerate??

I have taken care of dozen's, if not hundreds, of elderly who are completely unaware of their surroundings (hip fractures). It's sad, very sad. Dignity is an important thing, and sometimes doctors do what they can instead of what they should. I always discuss with the family the option of doing nothing, but it is rarely, rarely acted on. I'd say maybe 5 out of hundreds.

You and your wife are very wise to have a plan for the end. What I will say is that you should make sure it's actually written in stone - that is in a legal document that no one can dispute. I should do the same.

I learned an important lesson a couple weekends ago from a guy that I did residency with. He does trauma/ICU/hepatobiliary surgery, so he sees many many many more sick people than I do. What he has mastered is approach to the family members of someone who is near the end. His words are "You are the conduit of what your loved one would want, please share with me what they have told you they want." This, compared to what I used to do: "What do you want us to do?" That removes the guilt and anxiety of having to make a tough, yet inevitable, decision.

I'm going exotics racing driving in LV at our stag/stagette in about 3 weeks......I guess i'll take the corners a little slower after reading this.

Thoughts with you and your neighbors.

-J.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,773 Posts
Very sorry to hear.
I just told my wife about your neighbor's son as her dad did that RP Driving experience a few years ago at Disney.
She said she saw it on the news.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
My wonderful next door neighbors son was killed today in an accident. He was doing his job when something went wrong and his life was over. A truly great guy, a loving husband, a dedicated son and he adored his 2 year old daughter.

Simply doing his job, although his job was not a typical job. He was an advanced driving instructor for Richard Petty Motorsports and he was in the managment of the Driving Experience for the Speedway at Walt Disney World. He was riding in the passenger seat of a Lambroghini which was being operated on the speedway as part of their Exotic Driving Experience. We do not have the specific details of precisely what occured, just a general description.

The driver was operating the Lambroghini on the track and lost control and the sports car struck a guardrail with the passenger side of the vehicle. My neighbors oldest son was the instructor in the passenger seat. The angle of the collision along with other factors still under investigation resulted in this wonderful young man, who was a truly gifted and experienced race car driver, losing his life.

The shockwaves that this has sent through our homes is simply stunning. I was standing in the driveway talking to his mother about him and his wife and daughter at the time the accident occured. While she didn't get called until an hour or so later and we obviously had no idea what was occuring while we were speaking about him, I never imagined what could be occuring. While we were discussing the next time he was coming home with his family and reflecting about his visit here over Easter which also was a celebration of his grandparents 65th wedding anniversary, it never occured to me that we wouldn't see him again during this life.

My neighbors are devastated by the news. In shock would be an understatement. Just like that, he is gone. Leaving a beautiful and loving wife and their precious 2 year old daughter. I am still stunned.

Although I have lost many people who were important and close to me, you still never get ready for the shock of the news. And when a death is so sudden and unexpected, the news takes your breath away.

Life is certainly precious. While we get into discussions about tractors and even into politics and problems with neighbors on this forum, it all seems so insignificant when the reality of life reminds us that we are each only here for a short while in perspective and some, have even less time to spend with those they love.

Rest in Peace my friend, G.T. You will be missed by many who really love you.:brokeheart::cry:
I too am truly sorry for your neighbors lost. I always remember the song "New York" minute. That's how quick someone can be taken from you, and to out live your children must be an absolutely terrible feeling. May God rest his soul and comfort his family. Prays and blessings for the family.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,899 Posts
Sad to hear this news man, sorry to hear.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,852 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Here is an update of what has occured since Gary's death and his celebration of life. First, I want to state that I was very pleasantly surprised to find that our local newspaper had actually run ANOTHER front page story the day after the first newstory was run ommitting the mention of Gary's mother and also his wife and daughter. The local paper did run the story very prominently on the center of the front page and about 1/4th of the last page of the front section of the paper.

The irony of the situation was as I was leaving the newspaper office the first day when I went to discuss their ommissions, my parting comment was "Perhaps you should take a look at the stories the Orlando Sentinel has been running as they certainly have been doing a much better job. The story they ran on the front page on day 2 was actually the Orlando Sentinel story and the O.S. reporter was given the byline at the heading of the story with contribution of the local writers at the end of the story. So, In the end, the local paper did do the right thing after a little encouragement.

One of Gary's cousins established a GO FUND ME PAGE to help raise money for a college education fund for Gary's 2 year old daughter, Taylor. The response has been very heart warming and the donations have come in from around the world, from people who knew Gary and his large family to those who he had instructed over the years to those people who heard about the tragedy and have donated. Here is a link to the page.

Funeral Expenses and College Fund by George V Cassar Jr - GoFundMe

There are pictures of Gary and his wife Kathy and their beautiful daughter, Taylor. Also, there are comments from the wide group of people whose lives Gary had touched in one manner or another.

Gary's family and friends had a celebration of his life in Florida on Saturday, the 18th of April 2015. Gary was cremated following the service and the visitation which was held on Friday the evening before the service. There is going to be a celebration of Gary's life held in Michigan at a date yet to be determined. It appears that the celebration is going to be held at a local speedway, where he raced extensively and had numerous victories and where his brother Adam now races. The details are still being worked out at this time and more will be available as decisions are made.

Meanwhile, the family continues to be together in Florida. There are significant changes to everyone's daily routine in Gary's family and they are beginning to make some of the adjustments. It will be a process which will have to evolve over time as the week since his accident (it has been EXACTLY one week to the minute as I type this) has dramatically changed everything for his loved ones.

Sadly, I have been through losing those close to me before. The one thing I have found is that immediately following the loss, the amount of people and attention and support around the family is overwhelming. As those who were there to help and support the family immediately following the loss return to their lives, suddenly, the reality of the situation sets in and just as quickly, the family will suddenly find that they will really need one another and those who are truly closest to them because the new found silence following the loss can seem to be nearly overwhelming.

Tragically, I now have had 4 dear friends lose adult children. This is something which forever affects the parents as the first of my friends to lose their adult child was in 1987 and that couples pain from the loss of their daughter is still fresh to them. The others happened as recently 5 years ago and those friends still find their loss and the pain of losing their son nearly unbearable. Parents are clearly not intended to bury their children and when they suddenly find that they must, the pain is overwhelming and even the smallest required tasks seem like a mountain to steep to climb because of the crushing grief. While the grief will ease some over time, the loss still remains fresh and affects these loving parents everyday of their lives.


On a personal note, thank you for allowing me to share this sad and difficult story with you. Each of us in our own ways must find a way to deal with the loss of someone dear to us and this thread has helped me by sharing this information with the GTT Family.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top