OLATHE, Colo. – He’s been in the Intensive Care Unit for 36 days. That’s 864 hours or 51,840 minutes. But no matter how you do the math, Tim Thomas says it’s too long to go without speaking to his son. “They said it’s a year or could be up to a year before they know how much damage was done,” he said. “I just don’t see any end in sight.” Tommy was hit by a semi truck in early October. The accident happened near Falcon Road and Highway 50 in Olathe. Thomas says his son was riding his bike with friends, and then came that life-changing phone call.
“I had just bought him new shoes the night before and he loved them so much,” Thomas said. “So while the EMTs were working on Tommy I tried to find his shoes. They were 75 feet away from each other.” The speed limit on Highway 50 drops from 65 to 55 miles per hour in the area Tommy was hit. “Both of us just broke down when we saw that blank vegetative stare,” Thomas said. “That’s when we realized how hurt he really was.” Thomas is a single father, but he says the unanswered questions and constant worries are much harder than raising two boys on his own.
“And it hurts to go there. I want to go there and see him but I can’t be in the room more than an hour without crying or throwing up,” Thomas said. “It just breaks my heart to see him like that.” Thomas works at Wal-Mart in Montrose. It takes him 20 minutes to drive to work each day, a place he has to be in order to pay his son’s medical bills. But that’s more than 13 miles away from his home in Olathe. Tommy is in Grand Junction at St. Mary’s hospital. That’s another 54 miles from home and an hour commute each way. And all that extra driving has taken a toll on his 20 year old car.
“I started wondering how I was going to get through this and then I thought how selfish of me,” Thomas said. “He’s the one with the problems not me.” Thomas says this is a stressful time as money is tight, but all he’s asking for is answers about his son’s accident. ”I just want to know who, who and why and my baby… I ain’t talked to my baby in 36 days,” Thomas said. “And I might not talk to him ever again.”
We reached out to the Montrose County Sheriff Office On Monday to see if the driver was cited for the accident, and to get more information about their investigation. But because of the observed holiday, our questions couldn’t be answered. Thomas says the staff at St. Mary’s has been great. He couldn’t ask for better care for his son.