Voices of the Crash
After the crash comes the impact that affects so many families. Here are some stories from the brave families in our communities of Oregon that have been affected by this devastation.
|Nick Portis was a 17-year-old boy full of life and planning career as a Marine. He was the one that always tried to make everyone laugh and never turned down a good prank. He also spent a lot of time making sure his friends and family were safe and if anyone was injured or in need he was the first one there to help. On many occasions Nick had also been the one to speak up to family members and take keys from friends to avoid them drinking and driving.
On March 30,2013 Nick made many poor decisions. The first of these poor decisions was lying to his mother about where he was going and heading to a bonfire party deep in the woods of Estacada. It was this decision that led to the excessive drinking that would eventually impair his ability to make good decisions about driving. The last decision he would ever get the chance to make, was the decision to get into a truck with six drunk friends. They drove for less than a mile on a forest service road when the truck flipped and ejected 5 of them into the roadway. Nick landed in a ditch where a rock took out the side of his head. Nick never made it to the hospital. He died in the arms of the driver who was his friend.
This decision has caused many horrific days for many people. The lives of his family members and close friends will never be the same. His brothers and sisters struggle mostly with the unanswered question of why he didn't care enough about them or himself to make better choices. One of his friends that had to witness the crash still struggles with nightmares and anxiety. His grandmother struggles daily with the fact that she cannot see his face or hear his voice.
As his mother I struggle daily with the loss of my son. The nightmares are still as vivid as they were on day one, the emptiness and anxiety in my life will never go away. I have had to learn how to live a completely new life and realize that my life will never be "normal" again. I have had to learn how to say his name without crying. I can no longer read a story about a crash in the news without it taking me back to that first moment and bringing me to the realization that another family is just starting our hell.
I have also had to learn how to handle the anger and the thankful feelings I have toward the driver. Even though his actions did kill my son, he was the only one willing to stay with him at the crash site when the rest of his friends left him to die alone so that they would not be there when the police arrived. My son would have died in that ditch alone if he had not stayed to hold him that night.
There is no possible way to fit the devastation caused to our family on one page. There are no excuses for driving drunk or allowing our friends and family members to drive drunk. We as a community can stand against these senseless actions and make a difference. We can save lives!