Loss of My Son - Travis Clayton Davis

Joyce Davis Longrie

Travis Clayton Davis was born on September 30, 1980 in Pearisburg, VA. He graduated from Giles High School in Pearisburg in 1998. He also attended Giles Vocational/Technical School and received a certificate of completion in Welding. He had several welding jobs and worked at several jobs including Rene Composite in Pearisburg and at Electro Tech in Blacksburg, VA.

Travis is the beloved son of his dad - Roger Clayton Davis - of Pearisburg, VA and me - Joyce Mosburg Longrie - his mom of Pembroke, VA.

He has only one sister Angela Martin who loved him dearly and who he always affectionately called Nannie. He also has a nephew, Skyler Toy Martin, who loved Travis so very much and always called him Ta-Tay. Since his accident on January 25, 2000, he now has a new niece, Cameron Elise Davis, born on October 30, 2000 - 9 months and 5 days after Travis's accident which was a Godsend to the whole family and whom I like to refer to as our little miracle baby. We all needed something in our lives to focus on instead of our overwhelming grief for our beloved Travis.

On January 25, 2000,Travis - age 19 - and two friends, Lee Conley who was 20 and the driver of a Mustang and David Shrader, age 22, a passenger in the back were out together riding around. David had gotten off from work about 12:00 midnight and Lee and Travis picked him up and they were taking him home. About 3:15 in the morning they ran into the back of a dump truck and Travis and Lee were killed instantly. David lived for a little while and after being cut from the car was air lifted to a hospital but died on the way the. The day after the accident, David's wife, Angela, delivered a baby boy whom she named after his dad. David also had a sister, Angie, who was totally devastated by her brother's death. Lee had one brother, Daniel who idolized his older brother and always thought of him as his hero.

I wanted to write this story to tell people about this terrible tragedy and how it only takes a minute for lives to be ended. This wreck was one of the worst ones ever to occur in our community. It left a lasting impact on the policemen and rescue team who investigated it, the firemen, and everyone who assisted with the wreck including the hospital attendants. Pearisburg is a small town and everyone knows everyone else and These three young men had grown up there.

They were three young men riding around having a good time just the same as other young people do. They didn't know this would be their last night out together. Who have thought they would run into the back of a dump truck and that all three lives would be over that morning.

I'll never forget that morning when the policeman, a personal friend, came to my house and tell me the terrible news. I could see the compassion and pain in his eyes when he had to tell me my son hadn't made it this time and then he told me another young man had died also and that a third one may not make it.

Travis had been in some other wrecks and had always come out without injuries. I do remember after the initial shock of taking in what the policeman was saying that I asked if Travis was driving. Then I made a couple of phone calls to get someone to come over to be with me.

Tragedies such as these happen to so many young people but you never think it will happen to your child and it is always a parent's greatest nightmare. Sure it wasn't their fault they didn't see the truck but if they hadn't been out at 3:15 in the morning, the wreck would have never happened unless it was just their time to go and God wanted to take them home.

I wanted to set up this web page up so someone might read this and see how tragedies do happen even when those involved are only riding around and not really doing anything but being with their friends.

Parents, relatives, and friends are the ones who must live with our losses and go on without our loved ones. The past 15 months have been the hardest of my life. There were many times I thought I would not make it - that I just couldn't go on but day by day I have survived. I didn't get much sleep for months and lost my appetite completely for the first few weeks. Grief is hard to explain except to those parents and loved ones who have gone through the same kind of loss. Everyone tells you to get your mind on something else but they just don't know that your every waking moment is thinking of your child and what he or she would be doing and trying to remember every little detail of their smile, their hair, the way they walked, and the way they talked. A parent just never expects their child to die before they do. All my life I had told others that I didn't know what I would do if something ever happened to one of my children because they had been my whole life. Now I know - you just go on surviving the best way you can.

These three young men had many, many friends and relatives who have had to live with these losses and who have been affected by this terrible tragedy. As a mother that has lived through this tragic loss, I say to all who young people who read this - please be careful and let your parents know where you are and when you are coming home. There's nothing worse than sitting home waiting for the phone to ring and hoping it's your child saying they will be late or they are staying with a friend, or whatever so you can go on to bed and get a few hours sleep. The not knowing is something that takes a toll on parents, which their children just cannot understand. I always told Travis that one day he would have children and he would know what he had put me through but now he will never know what it felt like. I just hope he did know how much I loved him and only wanted him to be safe and only wanted what was best for him. To parents I would also like to say - tell your children how much you love them every day and always tell them how proud you are of them for what they have accomplished in life.

We will also have our Travis, Lee, and David with us forever in our hearts and thoughts and they will live on forever with us. They are now in God's care and we are only thankful that he let us have them for the years that we did have them.

Joyce Davis Longrie



You can send email to Joyce Davis Longrie at jlongrie@vt.edu

mail welcome



Anniversary date - 01-25-00
Date of post - 04-24-01

[return to home page] [column] [book excerpts] [honor page] [discussions page]