GRANITE FALLS, Wash. -- This time of year, we see more motorcycles on the roadways, and with that, we see more crashes. Sometimes these crashes involve drunk drivers, but all the time, they tear apart families.
A 29-year-old woman lost her fiancé to a motorcycle crash caused by a drunk driver less than a week ago. Now, she’s just trying to get by one day at a time.
“It’s still not real, it just seems like one really long day that I’m never gonna wake up from.”
It isn’t a dream for Jayme Fadden.
“'I’m sorry Jayme, Brandon’s been in a motorcycle accident.' And I said 'Yeah but he’s still alive.' They said 'No, I’m sorry he’s not.'”
It’s her worst nightmare.
"I didn’t believe them, I just kept saying 'You’re lying, he is though, he is.'”
Her fiancé, 30-year-old Brandon Elias, was hit head-on by a drunk driver while he was riding his motorcycle near Lake Stevens on July 5 . He died at the scene.
Jayme was not on board with the idea of Brandon having a motorcycle. This isn’t the first motorcycle crash that has rocked her family. Just this past March, someone pulled out in front of her 22-year-old cousin. He wasn’t expected to survive that crash, and he did.
“You’re being safe and they’re being careless.”
Brandon was a light in Jayme’s life, even when they didn’t agree.
“He was just, he loved everyone, he had such a love for life.”
The pair had their life planned out.
“We were supposed to get married a year from today, so July 11, 2020.”
Those plans unraveled beyond Jayme’s control.
“We went and saw him on Monday. It was so hard to leave him there, I just wanted to bring him home.”
That was the last time Jayme would hold Brandon’s hand.
“I had to decide what I wanted him to wear the last time that I saw him, and I had to go to our house and pick out his clothes."
While Jayme’s fiancé took his last ride, she says she wants something to be done, perhaps tougher DUI penalties so other riders don’t suffer the same fate.
“I want him to pay because I don’t want somebody else to have to go through what I’ve gone through, and what all of Brandon’s friends have gone through, and what all of Brandon’s family has gone through.”
So while she looked forward to July 11, 2020, “I deleted our wedding account that day because I just couldn’t get any more notifications from it.”
July 5, 2019 will forever be the date burned into her brain.
“I wish all the money that has been raised from everyone that’s been so helpful that we could just pay heaven and get him back, but that’s not real.”
There is a memorial ride being held for Brandon at the Arlington Skate Park this Sunday at 2 p.m. It is being organized by The Marysville Bike Shop.
A celebration of life will take place at the Granite Falls Eagles Club Saturday, July 27. The public is welcome to attend both events.
If you want to help the family: