Family Mourns Its 10-Year-Old "Hero" - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Family Mourns Its 10-Year-Old "Hero"

The Lee family wanted to share its heart-wrenching story of a 10 year old who did more with his life Tuesday night than many of us will ever do. Chad Lee, Junior was a fourth grader at Magnolia Park Elementary in Ocean Springs. His family believes he died in a traffic accident Tuesday night just like he lived -- thinking of others first. 

It was spring break in Ocean Springs. So Chad Lee spent time at his mother's house in Saucier.  On Tuesday night, Chad went to Three Rivers Park and watched his nine-year-old friend play baseball.  Everybody was smiling after his friend's team won.

As the group headed home, victory suddenly turned into chaos. Tires screeched. Bumpers slammed into each other. Lee was in the back seat of a Ford Aerostar van as it crossed Highway 49 at Duckworth Road. Nobody in the minivan knew just how tragic the next few seconds would be.

The tires screeched, Lee's mother Devan High said because "on the way home, the brakes failed on the vehicle."

When the Aerostar carrying Chad and his friends got hit, it stalled in Highway 49's southbound lane. It was about 10:45 p.m. And the intersection where the car sat had no lights. That explains why as soon as Chad pushed his friends out of the Aerostar and he started to get out himself, a second car coming down the dark highway slammed into the back of the stalled minivan.

"It was a tragedy. But he did a great thing," Chad's mom thought.

Two days after the accident, sitting on some chairs at the funeral home where Chad Lee's service will be held, grieving family members proudly remembered a 10-year-old whose quick thinking saved two lives.

"He was a hero," Karen Trotter said. "My grandson died a hero."

It was that second collision on the darkened highway that caused so much pain for this family. Chad's friends heeded the 10-year-old's advice and dashed to safety. Nicholaus and Tyler were okay. However, Chad got hurt. His internal injuries were so severe, he died two hours after the wreck.

As painful as her loss is, Mom can't forget what Chad did to protect his friends.

"It makes me feel proud. We raised him that way. He always thought of others before himself," she said.

The family decided that even in death, Chad Lee, Junior could still save lives. Someday they hope his eyes and his heart will give hope to two other children. If the organ donor recipients see life and live life like Chad did in his 10 short years on earth, Chad's grandparents say two other families will be as fortunate as they were.

A smile crossed Karen Trotter's face when Chad's grandmother said, "I had planned to take him fishing that very next day, because I was going to babysit him."

Then a tear dripped down her cheek.

"I never got to go fishing with my grandson," she remembered.

She prays that others will do what she didn't get to do.

"Love your family. Just tell them you love them everyday," she said.

Visitation for Chad Lee, Junior is Friday night from 6:00-8:00 at the Bradford O'Keefe Funeral Home on O'Neal Road in Gulfport. The 10-year-old's funeral is Saturday morning at 10:00 at the same funeral home.

By Brad Kessie

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Harrison County coroner will pay $110,000 as part of settlement

    Harrison County coroner will pay $110,000 as part of settlement

    Sunday, April 22 2018 1:06 PM EDT2018-04-22 17:06:19 GMT
    (Source: File)(Source: File)

    Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove will pay $110,000 after a settlement was reached in a lawsuit alleging discrimination. That's according to county attorney Tim Holleman. 

    More >>

    Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove will pay $110,000 after a settlement was reached in a lawsuit alleging discrimination. That's according to county attorney Tim Holleman. 

    More >>
  • Ocean Springs restaurant to shut its doors after 20 years

    Ocean Springs restaurant to shut its doors after 20 years

    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:57 PM EDT2018-04-22 16:57:51 GMT
    The Bayview Gourmet will close its doors after 20 years in Ocean Springs, citing a lease dispute. (Source: Facebook)The Bayview Gourmet will close its doors after 20 years in Ocean Springs, citing a lease dispute. (Source: Facebook)
    The Bayview Gourmet will close its doors after 20 years in Ocean Springs, citing a lease dispute. (Source: Facebook)The Bayview Gourmet will close its doors after 20 years in Ocean Springs, citing a lease dispute. (Source: Facebook)

    An Ocean Springs eatery known for its upscale breakfast and lunch menu will close its doors this week.

    More >>

    An Ocean Springs eatery known for its upscale breakfast and lunch menu will close its doors this week.

    More >>
  • It'll be a soggy Sunday across the coast

    It'll be a soggy Sunday across the coast

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:29 AM EDT2018-04-22 12:29:55 GMT

    The WLOX First Alert Weather team is tracking another storm system that will bring the chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms Sunday.

    More >>

    The WLOX First Alert Weather team is tracking another storm system that will bring the chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms Sunday.

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Search ongoing for gunman after 4 killed, 4 injured in mass shooting at Waffle House

    Search ongoing for gunman after 4 killed, 4 injured in mass shooting at Waffle House

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:55 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:55:32 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 2:21 PM EDT2018-04-22 18:21:19 GMT
    Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)

    Four people were killed and four others injured in a mass shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch early Sunday. The suspect is still on the run.

    More >>

    Four people were killed and four others injured in a mass shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch early Sunday. The suspect is still on the run.

    More >>
  • 4 dead in Waffle House shooting in Tennessee; suspect sought

    4 dead in Waffle House shooting in Tennessee; suspect sought

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:34 AM EDT2018-04-22 12:34:45 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 2:25 PM EDT2018-04-22 18:25:26 GMT
    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)
    Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>
  • Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:11 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:11:04 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:23 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:23:15 GMT
    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly