CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — The unimaginable happened to a Chesterfield family when one of their own died in a crash on Iron Bridge Road, just two blocks from their home.
27-year-old Caleb Schoorens was less than a mile from his house on his way to meet his fiancée when he was T-boned.
As Caleb’s family grieves the loss of their second child, they’re sharing more about who their son was and the dangers of the intersection where the crash happened.
“I loved him so much,” said David Schoorens, Caleb’s father. “We all did.”
Schoorens said he’s still in shock knowing that his loving, outgoing son will never walk through the front door again.
Caleb was enrolled at John Tyler Community College and worked at a bank. His family describes him as caring, compassionate, and funny.
On Saturday, September 5th, Caleb was driving on Willow Branch Road around 6:30 p.m. He stopped at the intersection to turn onto Iron Bridge Road, however, he underestimated an oncoming car. As Caleb took the turn, an oncoming jeep, traveling westbound, hit his Toyota on the driver’s side.
Caleb suffered severe injuries and was rushed to Chippenham Hospital where he later died.
“It was probably one of the worst cars I had ever seen,” said Schoorens. “It was surreal and it was hard, having to go through the car and look through his stuff. That was one of the hardest things in my life.”
Caleb’s family is devastated and says they’re leaning on each other during this difficult time, taking it day by day.
“He’s my best friend,” said Jayell Rogers, Caleb’s sister. “I’ve been going through the motions. There are days where I just completely break down and cry and there are days where I’m just numb and waves of happiness where I’m thankful for the moments I got to enjoy with him.”
The family suffered another sudden loss eight years ago. Schoorens’ other son, PJ, died in his arms as he tried to save him while choking. Schoorens says he suffers from PTSD from the incident and now he has to cope with losing another child.
A former first responder, Schoorens worked fire rescue in New York for six years and says this incident hits differently.
“Being a first responder, sometimes you’re the last one there with someone’s loved one,” said Schoorens. “It doesn’t hit home until it happens to you and your family.”
Despite the unimaginable pain for having to heal from the death of two children, Schoorens said he takes comfort in being near his sons belongings and thumbing through old photographs–remembering the good times.
Schoorens is now advocating for change at the intersection of Willow Branch Road and Ironbridge Road, which he calls dangerous.
He says he would like to see a “right turn only” sign erected or a traffic light installed to prevent drivers from impulsively crossing four lanes of traffic, traveling in both directions.
Schoorens says his goal is to raise awareness and keep this from happening to another family.
If you would like to help Caleb’s family during this difficult time, the family has a Gofund Me account set up, click here.
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