GLASTONBURY, Conn. — A Glastonbury mom is morning the loss of her 18-year-old son Gordon "Mac" Southby who died Sunday when the motorcycle he was riding was involved in a collision with an SUV.
Police say the crash happened just before 7 p.m. on Hebron Avenue in Glastonbury near the Route 2 on-ramp. Andra Spencer, 15, was in the SUV and also died in the crash. She was a student at Bacon Academy in Colchester. State and Glastonbury Police are investigating what happened.
Veronica Southby, Mac's mother, says Mac went to grab food Sunday evening. A couple of hours later, she received a call from the hospital.
"I’m led, not to a room number, but the conference room, which is always very bad news. And I just said, 'Dead or alive?' and I wasn’t expecting the doctor to say, 'Mac is dead,'" she said. "There was the three-word sentence that just changed my whole life."
She said she held her son. Even though he was dead, she says he still had life in him.
"I just sensed as I spoke to him, his soul and spirit hadn’t traveled far," the mom said. "I do believe he heard me say 'I love you' one more time for the millionth time and how sorry I was for all the corrections that you gave a young 18-year-old boy."
His 17-year-old brother Augie came to see him as well. The family will bury him next to his father, who passed away in 2019, next week.
Veronica says her son was a natural-born mechanic who loved working on motorcycles and dirt bikes. She lost track of how many bikes he built. The work of the Glastonbury High senior sits on their driveway.
"If man could make a washing machine fly, my boy would be the one to pull it off," she said. "My car broke. Don’t call anyone, just call Mac."
He wanted to be in the Navy.
"Mac was very intelligent and charismatic, and will be greatly missed. We have Mac's family and friends in our thoughts as they process this devastating loss," Glastonbury school officials said Monday to the district.
The Monday after he died, friends of Mac came to his house to set candles on his front steps. Veronica says it was the most beautiful thing Mac ever created.
"Everyone who he had touched, who he had helped, who he had outfitted a bike, rode with, had a great time with they all showed up," she said. "He attracted the best of people because he was the best of humanity."
She went to the site where it happened Monday. She calls it 'holy ground' and took her shoes off, walking around picking up pieces of the motorcycle. She says the accident was stunning and tragic and prayed for the other family impacted as well.
The clothes and helmet he was wearing Sunday lay in his room. The helmet is clearly damaged and the clothes are torn up. He was wearing his Eagle Scouts sweatshirt. Veronica says she continues to leave a lamp on in the room, not knowing why but she would do it so Mac could find his bed when he got home at night.
Southby was arrested in January and May of this year and was issued reckless driving charges, according to court records.
Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to call the Glastonbury Police Department at 860-633-8301.
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