Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Schrock Family Update

Hundreds of friends, relatives and fellow Mennonites traveled from as far as Mexico, Canada and the East Coast for Sunday's viewing of the five Schrock children who were killed last week in a traffic accident. The viewing was held at Pine Grove Mennonite Church near Chewelah, Wash.
Woman forgives driver in crash that killed her children

Carolyn Schrock, the Chewelah woman whose five children were killed in a collision Tuesday, has forgiven the driver of the pickup truck that smashed head-on into her family after swerving into oncoming traffic, and wants others to do the same.

A spokesman for the Schrock family, Daniel Hertzler, provided copies of a prepared statement Sunday, along with a photo of Schrock meeting with pickup truck driver Clifford Helm, 55, in a hospital room at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. The statement says the two families have met twice, once Friday night and again Saturday morning.

Here is the text of the statement:
"Today we stand, as it were, in a great chasm of sorrow that is bridged by your love here today. Thank you.

"There is also another family who is sorrowing today; perhaps from a different perspective, but their chasm is great, too.

"We met the Helm family on Friday afternoon and again on Saturday morning, and had a meaningful time. It was as if we were seeing into Sandy and Cliff's souls. We saw their acceptance of proffered forgiveness and their expression of release from the thing that held them. It is a very special memory.

"There were some hard things said of the Helm family that were not from us. We feel and pray for them. Love builds bridges. Hate digs graves. May the seeds of love and forgiveness that have been planted this day grow and the leaves be for our healing."

Hertzler provided no details beyond those contained in the statement, which is signed by someone calling himself "Grandpa Birky."

Schrock's husband, Jeffrey B. Schrock, 38, is recovering from severe injuries he suffered in the collision near U.S. Highway 395 and Hatch Road. He was driving with their children to Spokane to meet Carolyn Schrock, who had traveled to town earlier in the day, when Helm's northbound pickup careened through the median and into the highway's southbound lanes. Cause of the accident remains under investigation.
From staff reports, November 7, 2005