About this iReport
  • Not verified by CNN

  • Click to view unBroken1's profile
    Posted March 26, 2015 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    In Memoriam

    More from unBroken1

    A strange, sad, angry and joyful week.


    Extreme sadness, anger...and joy.
    It's a strange thing, that in the span of one week, a family can experience the extreme of each.


    Last Friday a young man named Joe Cates died on his way to work.

    He lived down here in Florida, and as many Floridians know, in the morning the fog can be extreme. It was the morning Joe died.
    He couldn't see the oncoming semi through the fog and drove ahead. He was hit.


    He was 23. He was a son, father, brother...


    On the Highway patrol site here in Florida this is what was stated:
    "PERRY, Fla.-- At 7:30 on Friday morning, a Chevy SUV was traveling westbound on Roberts Aman Road. A semi-truck was traveling northbound on US HWY 221. The driver of the SUV failed to yield to the semi-truck, pulling forward from the stop sign at the intersection of Roberts Aman Road and US HWY 221. The semi-truck's front collided with the left side of the SUV. After collision, the SUV rotated 90 degrees in a clockwise direction and traveled northwest across US HWY 221 onto the west shoulder. The semi-truck traveled northwest across the southbound travel lane of US HWY 221 onto the west shoulder. The semi-truck's trailer overturned onto its right side and blocked the southbound travel lane of US HWY 221. The SUV came to final rest in the west shoulder of US HWY 221 facing north. The semi-truck came to final rest in the west shoulder of US HWY 221 facing north.


    The driver of the SUV, 23-year-old Joseph Cates, of Perry, was killed.


    The driver of the semi-truck, 73-year-old Eddie Head, of Georgia, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.


    The Florida Highway Patrol was assisted by Taylor County Sheriff's Office, Taylor County EMS, and Florida Department of Transportation."


    The issue with the fog wasn't related to the public, just the basics. So some folks made some rather heartless
    For instance:


    "So many people that drive big vehicles don't yield because they think the other party will be intimidated and yield to them. Here is a case where the Suburban is not the biggest vehicle... and a mistake that cost the driver his life."


    ""Driver of the SUV failed to yield to the semi-truck"...oh well......."


    "Dang driver's ed. Shoulda paid attention."


    But such is the life of the internet.
    Some cold individuals who have nothing better to do then pass judgement on another who they didn't know.
    Or so I thought...


    There's another part of this story that also includes perfect strangers online.


    Joe's family didn't have the funds to have his body sent back up to Michigan to be buried there. He had recently moved to Florida to make a better life for himself and his son, but Michigan was home.
    So they wanted to take him home. Only to find out that the expense it would take just have him prepared to fly back home would cost equally the amount of the funeral. They didn't have funds.


    Joe's Aunt Veronica set up a GOFUNDME account


    in hope that they could raise the funds.
    Five days later, the funds have almost been met. And once again complete strangers posted comments, but soooo very different from the ones before:


    "I am so sorry for your lost. Prayers sent to your family."


    "Bless this boy and his family."


    "I wish I had more to give. I am so sorry for your loss and the hardship of the distance. I hope this helps get Joey home to his family and that you all find some peace during what I am sure is a very difficult time. I will be praying for your family."


    As I said...it's a strange thing to go through these emotions in such a short period of time.
    To have your faith in humanity lost and then found again within one week.


    To Joe Cates...may you be at peace.
    To Will Cates and the rest of the MY family...may you find peace.


    Joe was my cousin's son.

    Add your Story Add your Story