Help family find closure |

Help family find closure

Yes, the holidays are here and we have now begun to shop for that special gift for our friends and loved ones. As for me (please don’t hate me), I am finished. At least that’s what I thought until I read the paper dated Nov. 23.

I have followed this story from the beginning as I’m sure this whole county has., I’m speaking of the hit-and-run death of Peter Vodonick.

This story hits home in so many ways.

I am a mail carrier and Highway 20 is my usual route. I can’t tell you how many times I have either had car troubles or been stuck in the snow, only to have so very many people stop to assist in some way.

I myself was coming home from Reno one night when we were hit from out of nowhere by a snowstorm. We came upon two young men who had just rolled their car off the road and were in a ditch. As dark as it was, had we not stopped, who knows if anyone would have seen them?

At the time I did not think of any danger. I just reacted as anyone, in my mind, should have. Stop and help. So I strongly agree with the letter writer (“Further investigation,” Nov. 20). I can’t imagine what this woman was thinking. I don’t come upon too many people at that hour in the middle of the road that I would just swerve around and go on about my business. This woman could have possibly saved this young man’s life had she just stopped or made one phone call to 911. But to do nothing ” I just don’t understand.

One year ago this past September, I opened my door to a sheriff’s officer and my heart started to beat a little faster. There I stood on my front porch as this officer handed me a piece of paper with a phone number and said I needed to contact another sheriff’s office.

As I looked at the number, nothing seemed to make sense, although I did know for sure it did not concern my only son, who lived in L.A.

I turned back to the officer and asked what area code this number was for, to which he answered Baton Rouge, La. I must have turned white because I remember him asking if I was all right, but he sounded so very far away.

Today, I still wonder if I ever thanked him for coming. If I didn’t, then please let me say “thank you” now.

I went to the phone, but I did not call the number on the paper. I called my dad because he lives in Baton Rouge, and maybe my little brother, who has been in trouble with the law before, was in trouble again.

My God, I thought, he sounds just like our father only younger and without the rasp of years of smoking. So many dumb thoughts like these as I sank to the floor of my kitchen as my brother told me how our father, who owned and operated a towing company, had been killed by a hit-and-run driver as he was about to get back into his truck.

My family was fortunate because of witnesses who came forward with information. It helped to aid the police in finding the person who hit and killed my father and left him there to die on the side of the road as if they had just hit a deer.

Telling this story hurts in so many ways, especially with the holidays here. People tell you it will get better, and, yes, in time it will. But just when you think you have taken five huge steps forward, something happens and it’s three steps back.

I don’t know if this will be read by someone who might have seen something, anything. You may think it was nothing, but it might just be that one piece of the puzzle that is needed.

I know what it’s like to lose a loved one this way. What I don’t know is what Peter’s friends and loved ones are feeling by not having closure. Please help with this last gift. If you can let this family have closure it can give them a fresh start on a new year of healing.


Lara Viccinelli lives in Grass Valley.

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