Family dealing with tragic loss hosts 5K to thank first responde - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Family dealing with tragic loss hosts 5K to thank first responders

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

A local family coping with the tragic loss of their son is now thanking those who were with them in their darkest hours.

Justin Sarver, 24, was killed in a crash on Quacco Road a year ago while on his way to work at Gulfstream.

WTOC was in court with the Sarver's six months ago, when the woman accused of drinking while driving and causing the fatal wreck was granted bond.

Justin’s mother, Michelle Sarver, said she wanted to do something special for the first responders in Justin's memory, possibly a charity 5K. Now, she's making that happen.

"They didn't just take care of him, they actually cared for him," said Michelle.

That's how Michelle describes the first responders and the medical team at Memorial Trauma, who tried so hard to save her son’s life after police say a drunken driver crashed into his vehicle.

"They went all the way to the hospital and stayed with him because they told him that they would that they would stay with him and he said he did and I was just so comforted by that," said Michelle.

She says knowing her son wasn't alone in his final moments, means everything to her.

"When I talked to Ashley, she said that she sat in the seat beside him, and when she said that I don't think anything besides knowing he's in heaven made me feel any better because that's what bothered me the most. Just the thought of him being by himself,” said Michelle.

Lt. Ashley Henderson of Pooler Fire and Rescue was part of the first company on the scene.  She even crawled into the vehicle with Justin to care for him while crews worked to get him out.

"He would talk to me about his mom and he talked to me about his wife and the only thing that he wanted was he asked to not leave him alone. ‘Please don't leave me alone,' which I would have never left him alone," said Lt. Henderson.

Justin was a Gulfstream employee, about to graduate from Armstrong's Engineering program, and a newlywed. He died at Memorial.

Now, the Sarver family is doing something special for the first responders, Memorial Trauma, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. They've started a 5K event to benefit these agencies.

"Those are all people who became a real big part of our life after this happened," said Michelle.

It's called the Just-In for Love 5K, and it will be held at Tom Triplett Park.

"When she said that part of the donations are coming to us, it just amazes me because now when it does happen to someone else, which tragically it will, that money will help another family go through the same process that they're going through now," said Theresa DeWild, program coordinator at MADD.

The Sarvers invite the community to come out, remember Justin, and show support for the people who are there for us in our darkest hours.

"I look at this as a celebration of Justin's life, not of the darkness from his death, but the light from his life," Michelle said.

The Just-In for Love 5K is Saturday, April 23rd at 8 a.m. at Tom Triplett Park in Pooler. 

As for the case, Amanda Abrams faces a number of charges including homicide by vehicle and DUI. The Sarver's say the District Attorney now has the case, and it may be another year before it goes to trial.  In the meantime, Abrams is out on bond.

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