On Friday Jan. 25, 2002 Hayes played a basketball game in Jackson, Tennessee.
He was supposed to stay all night with some friends and get up on Saturday
morning and go duck hunting. After his game that night Hayes wasn't feeling
well and we tried to talk him into just coming home. He really wanted to go
duck hunting since he'd never been before. So he stayed all night with friends
and got up early Saturday morning and went duck hunting.
On his way home Saturday morning he called Scott to tell him how much he enjoyed
it and wanted to get a gun and hunting license. Hayes didn't get to shoot that day
because he didn't have a license. His friends convinced him that the best part
was fetching the ducks out of the water. Hayes loved getting in that cold water
and getting the ducks out for his friends. He was so happy that day.
Hayes was always a happy person, but that day was so different. Hayes' class ring
that he'd waited so long for arrived in the mail on that Saturday, January 26, 2002 also.
When he arrived home Hayes and Scott washed the vehicles, raked the yard and then
attended our nephew, Cody's basketball game. Since Hayes was the oldest child, and
grandchild all of the other children looked up to him. Cody was so tickled that Hayes
came to his game and got to see him score his first points of the season.
Hayes and his girlfriend of 8 months (Tara) had broken up on Jan. 8th, and he had his
first date with a girl at Fayette Academy. He left home at 3:30 that afternoon to go pick
up his date. Hayes picked her up and brought her back to the house. It was as if he
was coming to say goodbye. Hayes called Scott to the back room for some father
son advise and then Hayes hugged us, kissed us, and told us goodbye. They were
going to Old Navy and the mall to shop and then to On the Border for dinner. That
was the last time we'd see him alive. If I'd only known, I wouldn't have let him go.
He took his date LeAnn home at about 11:45 pm and he was heading home. I called
Hayes at 11:57 to see where he was (curfew is 12:00) and he said I just turned onto
Hwy. 196, "Don't worry mom, I'm almost home". How true those words ring in my ears.
I said okay I love you and he said the same. He asked if Daddy was still up because he
wanted to talk to him.
It's 12:30 am and I've now called the cell phone probably 20 times. When I didn't get
an answer I just assumed his radio was too loud and he couldn't hear the phone. Hayes
was always having his radio taken out of the jeep for that reason and he always pushed
curfew. It never once crossed my mind that anything happened. I assume he really was
still at LeAnn's house and running late. I told myself I'd lay down for 5 mins. and if Hayes
isn't in I'll get Scott up and we'll go looking for him.
In that 5 mins. I went to sleep. At 2:30 am the door bell rang. I assumed it was Hayes
having forgot his keys or garage door opener. At that time I had no idea what time it was.
When I opened the door a police officer was standing there, I remembered Hayes hadn't
came in and I had went to sleep. I started screaming where's my son, where's my son.
Then I saw 2 more officers come to the door. I remember him asking me to get my
husband up and Scott heard my screams and awoke. The officer said "there's been
an accident and Todd was involved". Todd is Hayes' first name but nobody ever called
him Todd. We assumed it was Scott's brother Todd. Scott said Todd Hall, the officer
said no, Todd Kent. They said we hate to have to tell you this but Todd didn't make it.
Scott said no, your wrong!!! Hayes is upstairs asleep. Scott went running upstairs
and came right back down. Beth, Beth I thought Hayes came home and I told him that
I believe we were spaced out like zombies and couldn't take it all in. They said he was on
Forrest St. which is the same as Hwy.196, the street changes names when you get into
Shelby Co. They said he lost control maybe trying to dodge a deer or something, he hit a
mail box then went airborne and landed in a ditch and hit a tree head on. He was killed instantly.
He was wearing his seatbelt but it broke, it didn't matter in this case. We just couldn't believe
what we were hearing. He said the accident happened at 12:15 am. Hayes was only 2 miles
The officers said that we would need to go downtown to identify the body. That was awful!! The
officers tried to tell us to let another person do it, but I insisted on going. When they pulled the
curtain open for those few seconds and we saw him, I thought "Oh my God, why my baby, why me,
why do this to me???"
We had so many mixed feeling that can't be described. I'll never have my answers until we get
to heaven with Hayes. The pain is so unbearable. We wonder how we can get through minute
to minute, let alone day to day. Thank you Pam Taylor for staying there with Hayes until the end.
Even though his spirit wasn't there he knew a kind lady was with his body. Sadly to say, but
Pam Taylor became an angel herself at the age of 30 on June 29, 2002. She went in to have a
tumor remove from her heart and never came through.
I'd like to thank everyone who was part of the search in trying to find Hayes' class ring. You all spent
countless hours at the accident site and seaching his jeep. Hayes' ring was never found but we'd
like to thank Campus Supply in Memphis, Tennessee and Josten's Class Ring for replacing Hayes'
ring "free" of charge.
You are listening to "One More Day With You", by Diamond Rio