“It was a long, great day hanging out with my older brother, cousins, and friends at the lake. It was the end of the school year; I was finally going to be a senior at Dixie High School in St. George, Utah. Summer basketball tournaments were in full swing and football camp was in the near future. I was happy and life was looking good. Then I chose to drive a friend home after a full day and night of fun, very tired. Oh yeah, we forgot to wear our seatbelts too.”
Drex was born on April 1, 1998. Yes, on April Fools’ Day, which is so fitting. Drex loved to tease and prank his loved ones. He had a big heart and a soft spot for sticking up for anyone that needed it. Drex paid close attention to others’ feelings. He had a great sense of humor and could dish it out as well as take it. After he died, we received many letters, cards, and stories of how Drex was always there for his friends.
Drex participated in Junior Rodeo and 4-H, showing sheep at the Dixie Livestock Show. But Drex’s true passion and love were basketball and football. He played with the “Think Swish” basketball Club and Dixie High School basketball and football teams. Drex shared his love and knowledge of these two sports with his younger brothers. He loved watching and supporting them, cheering them on, or teasing them about a fumble.
I was in my backyard during the early morning hours on Sunday May 22, 2016, taking care of my dying horse. I was so distracted with my horse, that I completely lost track of time until I heard sirens headed up State Route 18 near our home town. My first thought was, “Where was Drex? Did he come home?” I ran around to the front yard. Nope, Drex’s car wasn’t there. Oh, how my heart hurt. I could feel something wasn’t right. I could hear the sound of a helicopter flying overhead. It was close enough that I could tell it was LifeFlight.
Just then I received a call from my oldest daughter who said, “Mom, we just got a call from our friend, Chance. He came across Drex’s crashed car by Dammeron Valley. He doesn’t know if Drex is OK.” I froze, that sinking feeling in my gut was stronger than ever. I called Dixie Regional Medical Center. They confirmed that Drex had been in a crash and that an officer was en route to speak with me. I knew my sweet son had left this earth. Moms just know.
Drex was driving his friend, Taylor, home after a long, fun day. It was early in the morning and we think Drex fell asleep while driving. He drifted off the roadway and the vehicle overturned. Neither Drex nor Taylor were wearing their seat belts. They were both ejected from the car. Drex was killed and Taylor now faces a lifetime of recovery from her injuries.
We are overwhelmed with grief and loss. Drex’s six siblings miss him terribly. He was the middle kid, the glue, and instigator in all of our family settings. His humor and quick wit are forever lost. We are always thinking about what Drex would be doing if he were still with us.
Please always, always wear your seat belt. Had Drex and Taylor been wearing their seat belts that night, they would have walked away from the crash. And if you are tired, it’s OK to pull over and rest or wait for someone to come get you and bring you home safely.