A CHILDREN man told how he became more of an older brother to a younger brother who was born just a few months after their father died in a road accident.
Conor Gibbons was 6 years old when his father James was killed in a collision in Tipperary.
It was January 17, 2008 when the truck he was driving to work was hit by another truck.
He was killed instantly and his pregnant wife Patricia had to tell their six-year-old son.
Conor recalls: “I remember getting cleaned up from school early but I didn’t know what was going on. I’m happy to be out of school, that way. But then when I returned home, there were a lot of people around the house. I have an idea that something is going on but I don’t know what. And then when my mom got home, she took me to the bedroom and just told me.”
Patricia says she had to tell him after his dad kissed him goodbye to go to work that morning, he wouldn’t come home again.
He said: “I really didn’t know what to think and I don’t think she knew what I was thinking either. I remember her having to walk out of the room because she was clearly heartbroken. I remember standing behind the door, I just stood there and cried. I was wondering, ‘what do I do now?’ “
Patricia, who was 12 weeks pregnant at the time, said she didn’t know her at all and that James’ final goodbye would be their last.
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The couple had only been married for eight months before James passed away.
“When someone is sick, you know they are sick and you have time to say goodbye to them, whereas with a road accident it’s a bang, that’s it,” she said. Gone. We don’t have time to say goodbye. I said goodbye to him that morning to go to work, that I would talk to him later, the latter would never happen again.
“There is a saying, you put your boots on in the morning but you don’t know who will take them off. It is right. “
James’ sister Denise said she couldn’t believe her brother had passed away.
She said: “I just fell to the ground, I couldn’t believe it. How can I never see my brother again? How can it happen?
“Was he alone? How long will he live? Did he know he was going to die? You just think about all these things. What do I suppose he saw? He did everything right and that didn’t matter. “
‘Now I’m MORE THAN A Brother’
Conor said the house was quiet after his father passed away.
“I remember coming home after he was buried and there was a pit there,” he said. It’s just a kind of quiet in the house. Then the following year I made my first Communion and had another hole. All the other people in the church had their mother and father sitting next to them and I just had my mother. I knew he was there but he wasn’t there at the same time.”
And a few months later, while the family was still grieving, baby David was born.
Conor told Virgin Media’s Crash Scene Investigates documentary: “When David came to me, I was a brother for the first few years and then as I got older and started to mature, I was like I was more than a kid. brother. He always asks me questions and I feel good that I can have memories of them that I can tell him about. It’s not just a picture, who he is and how he is.”
He added: “I was just a gossan at the time but I will never forget him.”
Patricia made sure David knew who his father was.
She said: “I told David from the very beginning, I am your mother and I am your father. He knows we go to the graveyard, I used to drive him by buggy and when he started talking and walking we went to the graveyard and I said ‘this is where your dad is…. ‘
“And then when he started going to drama school, bringing home different items, making cards, he would make Father’s Day cards. You’re putting it on top of the grave, laminating it and putting some dents so it doesn’t blow away, which is hard.”
The other driver didn’t spend time behind bars for his role in James’ death.
Patricia said: “I know that morning he didn’t go out of his way to kill James, I know that. But when he was charged, he was fined a thousand euros and two years off work and that was it. That’s not fair.”
James’ story will air on Crash Scene Investigates on Virgin Media One on Tuesdays at 9pm.
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8256556/became-more-brother-dad-shock-crash-death-heartbroken-son/ I became an older brother after the tragic death of my father, the heartbroken son said