EUSTIS, Fla.—A community plans to come together Sunday afternoon to raise money for three children injured in a crash that killed their moms in Connecticut last month.
On Oct. 22, Lacey Marie Price, 32, and Rebecca “Becky” Marie Schutte, 36, both of Sorrento, were passengers in a Lincoln Aviator being driven by Kory Watson, 40, of Hillsville, Va. Watson veered into the right lane for an unknown reason on Interstate 91 South in Wethersfield, Conn. and collided with the rear of a tractor-trailer parked on the right shoulder.
The collision killed Watson and Price; Schutte was transported to Hartford Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. Schutte’s two children, Hailyn, 11 and Braysen, 9, and Price’s daughter, Willow, 7, were also in the Aviator at the time of the crash. Connecticut State Police said the children received minor injuries in the hours after the crash, but they were all severely injured.
Hailyn suffered a broken neck, shattered hip, a broken leg and head lacerations. Braysen suffered a shattered spine and bruised kidneys, and Willow suffered a compression spinal fracture and fractured wrist. All three children have since been released from the hospital, but have a long road ahead of them, both physically and emotionally.
A benefit concert featuring Nails Creek Records recording artists Dallas Tyler and Zach Denby is scheduled for noon Sunday at Crossroads 44, 36721 County Road 19A, Eustis. The benefit will also include $10 BBQ dinners, a 50/50 raffle, live auction of donated merchandise and $2 Jello shots. All proceeds will benefit the children. Admission is $15 and tickets can be purchased at the gate.
John Conley, one of the organizers of the event spoke to Inside Lake about his friendship with Price and Schutte and said they loved their children immensely.
“Lacey and Becky were a lot alike in many ways,” Conley said. “They were outspoken and stood up for what they thought was right. If either one of them had something to say, you were going to hear it, like it or not.”
Conley spoke of their giving nature and their smiles.
“They would give the shirt off their backs if you were in need,” Conley said. “They had a good sense of humor and had contagious smiles when they entered a room. They were genuine women who you could count on to be there. If they were in your corner, they had your back.”
His memories of the two women span many years; Price grew up just four houses down from his grandparents and he met Schutte in middle school, along with her brother Chris. Schutte and her brother lived just a neighborhood away from Conley’s grandparents and Price.
Conley fondly remembers just riding and “jamming out” with Price. “(The) last time that happened we ended up at Coconuts on the Beach day drinking,” he said with a laugh.
He also told Inside Lake about the time Schutte talked him into letting a guy she was dating at the time recolor a faded tattoo. “Long story short, he couldn’t color in the lines, and she had to fixt it,” he said.
Conley was struck by tragedy more than once last month. On Oct. 26—just four days after he lost Price and Schutte—he lost another family friend, Richard “Rick” McPhee, after he succumbed to injuries suffered in a hit-and-run-crash in July. The driver who hit McPhee as he was riding his bicycle to work on Wolf Branch Road, still has not been identified.
For more information on the benefit for Hailyn, Braysen and Willow, visit Benefit Concert for Kids @ Crossroads 44