A Fort Worth mother is still in disbelief that she will lay her son to rest on Saturday after he died from injuries related to a crash at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin.
Tamara Tatum-O’Neal never imagined what she was about to hear when the phone rang at 1:17 a.m. on March 13.
“She said 'Tam, I hear a guy ran through a group of people in Austin and they cannot find Dre and Tish,'” said Tamara Tatum-O’Neal.
DeAndre Tatum-O’Neal, known to loved ones as Dre, was her 18-year-old son. He was a victim of the crash allegedly caused by a drunken driver trying to evade police at the festival in Austin.
DeAndre Tatum-O’Neal and his girlfriend, Curtisha Davis, were both hospitalized after the crash. He suffered a head injury that required immediate surgery and a medically-induced coma from which he would never waken.
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“I want to know when they [EMS] got to the scene, did he say anything,” said Tamara Tatum-O’Neal. “I want to know, did he get the proper care while he was there, did they do everything they had to do to save him?”
She said she was privy to little information and still logs on to YouTube and other video websites to see pictures of her son in the moments before and after the crash.
She said she is haunted by thoughts of what happened and plans to attend every court proceeding. She has questions of her own for the man charged in her son’s death.
"How would he feel if someone ran over his kids and killed them? I want to know,” she said.
She said her son died in love and had fun. It’s that thought that’s carried her through all this, that he would be disappointed if she wasn’t crying or moping.
On Saturday, she will bury her son.