I don't remember as much about what I did the day after. Instead of driving back with my grandparents, Joe and I planned on taking care of a few things, and then he drove me back to my apartment.
Both Joe and I wanted to see Matt's truck. I wanted to partially because I had opted not to see it the weekend before due to darkness. So we went to the tow-yard. They wouldn't let us in without a release from the investigating officer. THe police chaplain had told us to call him if we needed anything, so we did. He put us in contact with the investigating officer for the state patrol. Soon thereafter he sent a fax to the tow yard telling them to let us in.
So in we went. The truck was pretty horribly mangled. It wasn't surprising Matt didn't survive. The top of what was once a beautiful truck was flattened. We looked inside. We could see various personal effects still in the truck. The tow yard wouldn't let us take them, as the investigation was still ongoing.
So we drove up to the State Patrol office to talk to the officer. Joe and I and Sarah. He was a very personable man. There had been a witness. He watched as Matt raced by him doing in excess of 80 miles per hour. In front of him, he saw the truck begin to fishtail. Then Matt lost control and went off the road and up an embankment before flipping over.
The State Patrol had to verify that Matt wasn't on drugs. Happily enough, he wasn't. I'm not completely sure, but I think he had cut them out for the last two or three years. He had a couple of arrests, as well as at least one stint on house arrest with an electronic ankle bracelet to monitor his whereabouts. The Patrol also checked to see if his epilepsy had played a factor. Sometimes Matt would have a seizure, and would just disappear for a few minutes. Freaked family members out the first few times it happened. Apparently there is a chemical in the blood stream or body fir which they can check. He didn't have it, meaning he didn't have a seizure.
Nope, pure and simple Matt was driving too fast for conditions. It was the one thing Matt hadn't given up when he turned his life around. This was his tendency to run fast, loose, and dangerously. He played hard. If Matt was going to go, this was the most likely way.
The Patrol gave us Matt's effects. Mostly a duffel bag he brought for the trip up. We looked through it. Pulled out the smut magazines so my mom wouldn't see them. Mostly I was disappointed that he had such low taste in porn. But if you are going to spend a week+ away from your fiance in another state, you should bring what you need.
The officer faxed over permission for us to remove whatever we wanted from the truck. So back to the tow yard we went. We pulled out the football for playing on the holidays. The family doesn't do gifts any more, but he had decided to hell with that, he was going to get each of us something. WHich I applaud as something beyond the consumerism so rampant. When you give because you want to give something, not because it is expected, or because you are
exchanging gifts. When you want something in return, it isn't a gift. It's a contract. Matt didn't have much, but he had purchased CHristmas ornaments for each of us. We found a couple in nice boxes in the truck. And we found Dan's CDs.
Then we drove to the crash site. It was ugly. Matt had hit a tree while upside down after sliding for a while. The vehicle still had enough force behind it to sheer off the 10 inch thick tree. Scattered around the site were a few more ornaments. We scoured the site. Joe persisted for a while longer than I did. That will remain ingrained, the vision of him wandering the hillside, engrossed in the grass, crying.
And that's all I remember of that day. I don't think I'm going to write about the funeral services or the memorial service in California. I was pretty emotional. And I think this was Adventure Christian's first death in their youth group, and possibly the church overall even. We flew his pastor up here for the services here, and I got to spend some time with him. But I think that's all I'm going to say about them.