|Steven Andrew Felldin|
|Learn about removing the ads from this memorial...|
|Birth: ||Dec. 24, 1980|
|Death: ||May 26, 2007|
A hand as he lay dying
Victim of crash told a stranger of love for his family, and the message is delivered
By Kim Minugh - Bee Staff Writer
Last Updated 6:40 am PDT Friday, June 1, 2007
Story appeared in METRO section, Page B3
Brian Hunter weeps Thursday as he meets with the family of Steven Felldin, whose hand he held as the man was dying Saturday in a Highway 99 collision of his car with a big rig. Among Felldin's relatives are, from left, his wife, Leilani Felldin, sister-in-law Crystal Dixon, sister Brenda Felldin and mother, Marilyn Felldin.
Sacramento Bee/Autumn Cruz
Pinned beneath the tires of a big rig, Steven Felldin did not die alone.
A stranger was there to hold his hand, to comfort the suffering 26-year-old and assure him that help was on the way. And that stranger was there to hear him gasp a final message of love:
"Tell my wife I love her."
On Thursday, that stranger -- a man initially known only as Brian -- delivered the message to Felldin's 26-year-old widow, Leilani.
"I'm so glad you were able to find us," she said, embracing Brian.
"I tried my best," he choked out between sobs. "I'm so sorry. I tried."
Surrounded by Felldin's grieving family in their North Highlands home, Brian Hunter, a 42-year-old construction worker from Sacramento, recounted what he could of the 26-year-old man's final moments.
Late Saturday afternoon, Felldin was driving north in the fast lane of Highway 99 just south of the westbound U.S. 50 connector when, for unknown reasons, he swerved across four lanes of traffic and went under the rear axle of a big rig's trailer, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The big rig moved to the shoulder, dragging Felldin's Honda Prelude with it.
Hunter was the passenger in a friend's car when they came upon the scene, which he described as "horrific." He told the driver to pull over and joined the passers-by who had stopped to help.
As he approached the Prelude, he saw Felldin's outstretched hand protruding from the mangled wreckage. He grabbed it, noticed the wedding band and told the man whose face he couldn't see to hold on.
Hunter estimated that he sat with Felldin about 10 minutes, as paramedics arrived and called for backup. He stepped back, he said, when a paramedic took Felldin's hand as others put an IV in his arm and began trying to free him from under the tires.
The accident occurred at 5:10 p.m., according to the CHP. Fire department workers first arrived on scene at 5:16 p.m., with the first ambulance arriving three minutes later, officials said.
FELLDIN, Steven Andrew
Tragically taken at the young age of 26 on May 26, 2007. Steven was our "gentle teddy bear" to everyone who had the honor of knowing him. As a faithful, dedicated Brother of Jehovah's Witnesses, he had a strong passion for life and desire in teaching his beliefs. He had taken an interest in photography and Japanese culture. He was a loyal and devoted husband with a deep love for Leilani, a loving son to Ken and Marilyn Felldin, a brother to Brenda, Crystal, and Erik and brother-in-law to Scott, Channa, and Krista. He was a loving uncle to Joey. He is also survived by grandparents Margie Turner and Ken and Jackie Felldin, along with his large extended family and by his best man and friend Robert Perez. He will be deeply missed and forever in our hearts until the joyful day we meet again through Jehovah's promise recorded in Jo. 11:25 - "He that exercises faith in (Jesus), even though he dies, will come to life." All family and friends are invited to a memorial service in honoring Steven's life at 4:00 PM on Saturday, June 2, at the Kingdom Hall of Jevhovah's Witnesses, located at 4145 Garfield Ave., Carmichael, CA 95608, between Cypress & Locust.
Published in the Sacramento Bee on 6/1/2007.
Felldin was extricated at 5:34 p.m., and six minutes later he arrived at UC Davis Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Hunter told the family that Felldin had been strong, gripping his hand despite his failing breath.
Felldin had been brave, Hunter said, talking of his love rather than his fear. And he assured the family of the emergency workers' efforts.
"The firemen, they don't pay them enough," Hunter said. "They're courageous. They were trying to comfort him."
Felldin's family sat in rapt attention Thursday as Hunter recounted the nightmarish scene, holding hands and dabbing away tears. They peppered Hunter with questions, eager to fill in missing details.
They filled in details for Hunter as well, introducing him to the man with whom he shared only a few minutes, but now shares a bond. They showed him pictures and told him about the pharmacy technician's compassion, love for cooking and photography hobby.
"We just can't thank you enough," said Felldin's oldest sister, 34-year-old Brenda Felldin. "Knowing our brother was not alone ... it just brought us such a love and a peace in our hearts."
Despite their own grief, the family expressed concern for Hunter's well-being.
"This must have been so hard for you," Leilani said quietly, putting her hand on his knee.
But Hunter, who took photos of Felldin home with him, said he is trying to make it a positive experience, one that has reminded him of the sanctity of life.
"I'm living for him, too," he said of Felldin. "I'll take a breath for him every day ... He's a part of me now."
As he left the emotional meeting, Hunter again hugged each member of the Felldin family. He waved, calling out "Love y'all," and promised to see them again Saturday, when Felldin will be laid to rest.
Created by: Sandra Tyler Duncan
Record added: Jun 01, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19655911
Privacy Statement and Terms of Service