A Tribute to Fred Horst and his son David.
His slender athletic frame reflects his former coaching position and his own self-discipline. He stands erect, and yet there is pain in his eyes and sorrow in his voice. Fred Horst is a father who has lost a son to a drunk driver.
Fred's son, David graduated from Joplin Parkwood, and then from the University of Missouri. He had been a foreign exchange student in Italy and could speak five languages. He had worked five years with the National Park Services. At 27 years of age he was in the prime of manhood.
On September 17, 1985 all that intellect, youthful energy and love for life and nature was wasted by a driver whose blood alcohol content was .20%. The drunk's car crashed into his small pickup at an estimated speed of 90 MPH pushed it back 60 feet and continued on 150 feet. Three hours and 26 units of blood later, David Horst died.
Fred and I ended out conversation with an old coaching expression, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going." There was also a determination that we both shared; we were going to fight back. No drunk can cheat us and get away with it. Our time, money, and lawyers are going to be used, and we refuse to be intimidated by the senseless slaughter of innocent lives on our highways.
And if losing his son was not enough grief, Fred's wife succumbed to cancer on February 18, 1986. I stand in awe and respect for the man from Racine, Mo and the story he shared.