DURHAM, N.C. (WRIC) — The wife of champion go-kart racer Chris Beazley is speaking out, after a wrong-way driver hit their family car, causing injuries from which Chris would never recover.
The crash happened on Interstate-85 northbound, just after 4 a.m. on Aug. 14, according to Nexstar affiliate WNCN. Elaine Beazley, Chris’ wife, said she was driving in the far left lane, with her husband asleep in the passenger seat. Also in the truck were their 6-year-old daughter Ella and teenage family friend Isabel Sipe.
Authorities said that Brayan Josue Amador-Alonso, 24, driving a Toyota Camry, was traveling southbound, when he hit the family’s vehicle head-on.
“There was a concrete barrier and there was brush growing over top,” Elaine said. “All of a sudden, this car comes at me, head-on, flashing their high beams, and bam, we hit head-on. I mean, it happened in seconds.”
According to WNCN, Chris was transported to the hospital with serious injuries, while Amador-Alonso was also sent to the hospital but with non-life-threatening injuries. Elaine said that she, Ella and Isabel were also taken to the hospital.
Chris’ sister told 8News that he needed 300 pints of blood during the first day in the hospital alone, with at least one surgery each day that followed. He succumbed to his injuries on Aug. 26.
“I cannot describe how fast it happened, and it seemed like a dream,” Elaine said. “From then on, that’s where the nightmare began.”
Authorities told WNCN that the driver who reportedly hit the Beazleys is facing several charges. He received a $1 million bond.
“Amador-Alonso has been arrested and charged with felony death by motor vehicle, felony serious injury by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, no operator’s license, careless and reckless driving and unlawful use of highways,” Durham Police said.
Elaine said the family was traveling back to Hanover County from the Big O Tribute race in Blacksburg, South Carolina, for Ella’s 6th birthday party when the crash happened.
“He always wanted to go,” she said. “We saw a lot of people that we knew and people that we don’t see that often because they race different areas. So [we] went down to the race, and Chris was all excited, and Ella was running around, and we were with some friends of ours, too. So it was a good time.”
Upon impact of the crash on the way home, Elaine said her instincts kicked in to get Ella out of the truck.
“The truck doors wouldn’t open, and I see smoke coming out the front, so I was worried the truck was going to catch on fire,” she said. “Somebody came to the door and got us out. I still don’t know who it is. I would love to know who it is so I can thank them.”
Elaine said that she and the girls sat in the middle of the highway by the scene of the crash until they were taken to the hospital.
“I started asking about Chris, and nobody would tell me anything,” Elaine said.
She told 8News that Ella was left with a broken arm, stretched ligaments in her neck, hematoma and a swollen cranial nerve, causing a lazy eye on her left side. Meanwhile, she said Isabel has ongoing medical issues as a result of the crash.
Elaine recently started physical therapy, after fracturing her sternum and vertebrae. She also has exterior fixators in her foot, which she said will have to be surgically removed at a later date. For now, she’s using a walker to help her get around without putting weight on her foot.
“I just want to walk again,” Elaine said. “I just want to walk again, and I want to be able to play with my daughter, and take care of her like I should, 100%.”
Elaine said that she and Chris were married for eight and a half years.
“I didn’t realize how many people knew who he was until after he passed, and how much of an influence he was to a lot of people,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say, ‘I race because of Chris,’ and I’ve had several people say, ‘Chris has always been a really good father figured. I hope I can be like him.'”
While Elaine said the couple used to joke that their marriage felt much longer than a few years, she told 8News, it now feels like it was only a matter of moments.
“God needs the really strong, good people first,” she said. “He’s the only person that my gut ever wanted to marry. But he was very devoted to his Heavenly Father, and he was very devoted to his family.”
Several tribute races have been announced in Chris’ honor since his passing. King George Speedway is holding a benefit race for the Beazley family on Sunday, Sept. 25. The Hunterstown Speedway is set to host a Chris Beazley Tribute Race on Oct. 22. On Nov. 19, Capital City Speedway is hosting a #BeazleyStrong race, with prize money to honor Chris’ numbers.