Randy Budd, the 55 year old husband of an Ohio schoolteacher who was critically injured when a rock was dropped on her car from a highway overpass, has killed himself. Budd died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at his Uniontown home late Saturday night.
Sharon Budd suffered catastrophic head injuries when a five-pound rock dropped from an overpass crashed through the windshield of her family’s moving car on Interstate 80 in central Pennsylvania in July 2014.
Since she was hit with the rock Sharon has undergone seven surgeries, losing part of her brain and one of her eyes that means she required round the clock care at home Randy Budd said in January that his wife had seven major surgeries and lost part of her brain and one of her eyes. Because part of her brain was affected, he said she would require constant care at home for the rest of her life.
Sharon, who had already survived breast cancer, has not been able to return to her former career as a teacher. Ahead of her seventh operation, which took place in June last year, Randy had called his wife ‘an inspiration’ saying she remains ‘upbeat and positive’ despite her injuries.
The Canton Repository published a statement from the Budd family Sunday afternoon, saying:
‘The Budd family are all together and are grieving the loss of their dad, husband and brother. ‘We deeply appreciate the tremendous support our family has received from the Massillon, Canton and Hartville areas over the past several years. ‘We ask for your prayers and some privacy as we deal with our loss.’
Dylan Lahr, 18, Tyler Porter, 19, and Keefer McGee, 18, were sentenced for the crime back in September 2015 and are all now serving jail time. Lahr, who dropped the rock, must serve at least four and a half years, while Porter must serve at least a year and 10 months, and McGee must serve eleven and a half month
Another man, Dylan’s 20-year-old brother Brett Lahr, was previously jailed for at least 18 months after pleading no contest to a conspiracy charge.
Those terms are only the minimum they must serve.
However, after their release the trio will be on probation for many years.
Authorities say the rock-throwing culminated a day of troublemaking that included shoplifting steaks, breaking a window in a neighbor’s home and driving through a cornfield, causing damage.
A truck driver also reported damage from a rock in that spot around the same time.
Sharon attended court the day Lahr, Porter and McGee were sentenced as they each asked for her forgiveness from the dock. Speaking after the hearing, she said:
‘I thought the judge would be just, and he was. It’s hard to look at their faces and not feel bad for them.’ ‘Randy and I are both glad this part is wrapped up.’
Randy added: ‘We have four children. They always went to Sharon. Now they come to me. Sharon always took care of them. Now they take care of Sharon.’
After his wife’s accident, which took place late at night as the couple’s daughter drove them to a show in New York, Randy became an advocate for requiring fencing on overpasses. Earlier this year, the Budd family helped push through new rules in Ohio requiring any new or rehabbed bridges over busy highways to be topped with chain-link fencing to deter vandals.
Randy Budd said in January:
‘I kept thinking, this had to happen for a reason. Why would this happen?’ . ‘There has got to be something good to come out of this, and it happened. ‘Now it’s going to have an impact in Ohio for years and years to come, and somebody else won’t have to go through what we’re going through – or even death.’
Source: AP/ News Channel 6