Wayne Allen Peck
December 13, 1969 - July 4, 2003
By: Carol Peck (mother)
On July 4, 2003, 10 PM our son stood in our living room and said, "Goodbye, I'm going home now, see you later." We had just finished our annual get-together with fun, games, lots of food and plenty of fireworks. At 3 AM in the morning of July 5, 2003 we heard a pounding on our door. I looked out our bathroom window, which overlooks our driveway, "and saw a police car." Our niece, who was staying with us, opened the door and let the Officer in. It was a State Highway Patrolman. He said, "Are you the parents of Wayne Allen Peck?" Both Bob and I said, "Yes" The Officer said that Wayne had been killed in an accident. Life from that moment on has never been the same for any of our family and many of Wayne's friends.
Wayne was born at St. John'sHospital, Joplin and was a lifelong area resident. He graduated from Sarcoxie High School 1988. Upon graduation he joined the US Army and was honorably discharged four years later. He was employed by FAG Bearing, Joplin and was attending Crowder College. Wayne, at that time, had a 10 year old son, Andrew. Besides his parents he had a sister, Suzanne Jessip and brother, Tyler Peck.
The Officer stated that Wayne had slowed his motorcycle to a stop when the driver crashed into him. Another Officer said that the driver had to be going at least 90 MPH. The official report stated that the driver was going 60 MPH. We believe 90 as Wayne's left leg was found 60-70 feet from the point of impact. The driver was driving on a revoked driver’s license, no insurance, drunk and/or on drugs. The driver was also on probation (drug related). When all was said and done in the courtroom he could only be charged with "leaving the scene of an accident." In March 2003 our Missouri legislators reduced the time from five years to four years for this charge. So the young man's charge was four years and the Judge decided to have it run concurrently with the charge of breaking his probation of five years. from five to four years. It wasn't but three months later that we got a notice that he was up for parole. It was disbelief for us. We showed up at the Parole hearing with our statements and over 500 signatures from a petition that we set out in our community. The petition stated, "We the undersigned are strongly against the paroling of Jason Garrison on March 23, 2004. We do not sign this out of vengeance or malice, but seek for Jason to have time to think about his choices in life and how the results of those choices have affected him, his family, and the family and friends of the one whom he killed." The young man served all the court time in prison.
Yes, it is all about choices now that we make in life. We do not live upon a deserted island so that the choices we make affect all those around us; family, friends, co-workers, establishments that we work for, or attend. For us July 4th is not the same, or will it ever be, but we still congregate, have our games, food, and fireworks. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Wayne's birthday go by year after year. We still have our grief spasms and we hold together with the here and now and the memories.
As Christians we keep our sites on being obedient and forgiving, along with practicing letting God remain on the throne in our life. On May 9, 2003 Wayne surrendered his life to Jesus. May 18 he was baptized at Calvary Baptist Church, Joplin, and June 27, 2003 (Oswald Chambers devotion, (My Utmost for His Highest) I read, "Do not expect justice in this world, but never cease to give it.
" During the season of Jesus' birth I cannot help but reflect on how His Mother kneeled at the foot of his cross and watched her son die. It was a hard and agonizing death that He suffered; it was unjust...she was helpless. I know now how she felt. Jesus is the healer and perfector of our faith... then and now.