MURRAY -- A simple reminder next to the pictures in the Thurber home reads, “Count your blessings.” It’s a sign that couldn’t be more painfully poetic today.
“It was horrific. It’s something I wish could erase. It was bad,” said Matt Thurber.
The Murray father vividly remembers his ride home on Saturday night, a drive that ended in a collision that left his Subaru totaled, and his 3-year-old son, Zane, dead.
“I remember my older son screaming his brother’s name,” Thurber said, “I think the one behind me was unconscious. I never heard him. I was hoping he was knocked out, like knocked out and would recover, but unfortunately, it was the worst case scenario.”
The driver of the car that hit them was Manuel de Jesus Guinea, according to police. An arrest report indicates the 45 year old was too drunk to be driving at the time. When officers questioned him, the documents show he couldn’t even tell them his name.
Guinea was booked into the Salt Lake County jail and is facing charges for driving under the influence and automobile homicide.
“It hurts,” said Thurber. “We are talking about a 3-year-old who had his whole life ahead of him, such a young, loving, ambitious kid. It's sickening that a drunk driver could do this.”
But rather than dwell on how Zane’s life ended, Thurber and his family intend to focus on every minute he lived.
“The last day, on Saturday, before he left us, I was really touched by those compassionate moments,” Thurber said, “You know, like a hug, I love you, how are you doing, that kind of stuff. It was a good day up until the end.”
And it’s those good days they’re counting today.
A fundraising effort has been started to help pay for the family's medical and funeral expenses. So far, nearly $20,000 in donations have poured in. If you would like to make a contribution, you can visit http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/thurber-family-funeral-medical-expense-fund/130891.