LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Friends and family wrote their final words to Lucy Enloe on latex balloons Monday afternoon and sent them to the heavens so she could read them. They also hope the driver whose suspected anger may have caused her death hears their message too.
They mourned Enloe’s death after she and Don Hutchcroft Sr. died in a collision on Interstate 40 near Maumelle early Sunday morning.
“And this was all caused by one person with road rage that took my daughter’s life,” claimed Eddie Enloe, Lucy's father.
Her car was totaled and stuck in the right lane because of a crash minutes before. Enloe, 27, called her father and her boyfriend immediately afterward. She said another driver cut her off, slammed on the brakes to cause a crash, and then drove away.
“I wasn’t immediately alarmed, because she said she was okay. She didn’t sound upset or panicked, or anything like that,” recalled Zac Varnell, her boyfriend, “so I told her to hang up with me, call 911 so they could the police or ambulance out there, and whatever they needed.”
“I tried to get there,” her father added, “but I couldn’t get there soon enough.”
According to the state police, Hutchcroft, 70, from Conway, slammed into Enloe while she waited for help. Hutchcroft died instantly. Enloe suffered a broken neck and spine.
The first people to reach her happened to be a group of off-duty first responders who came upon the scene and stopped. Eddie Enloe said they resuscitated his daughter and got her to the hospital. She remained on life support until Monday afternoon.
“And I thanked them very much for that,” he added, “because without that, these organs would not have been able to be donated and help people that are in need of those.”
Lucy believed strongly in organ donation; so much so that, after years of badgering, she convinced her father to become a donor, too. After she died, eight of her organs were matched with several patients who needed them to survive.
“And the fact that five to six other people are going to receive these organs and have a chance at life because of my daughter makes us happy,” Eddie Enloe said.
After the family made the decision to end her life support, they gathered outside Baptist Health Medical Center to celebrate Lucy’s life. A couple dozen people hugged and held hands before releasing balloons into the sky.
Eddie and Barbara Enloe both described their daughter as a free spirit, but someone with a healthy sense of humor who got more out of giving than anything else in life. Barbara, though, said the number of people who came to the hospital to show their support over her daughter’s final 36 hours taught her just how caring her daughter actually was.
“They would come to me,” she mentioned, “and say, ‘I knew your daughter, and this is what she did for me.’ ‘I knew your daughter, and she did this, or that, or the other. And I, we had no idea.”
Many people wrote final messages to Lucy on their balloons. There were also eight red balloons, each bearing the name of one of the organs she donated in her passing, her final act of kindness. Now, with Lucy gone, her family wants one more good deed, from the driver who hit her and left her and Hutchcroft vulnerable on the Interstate.
“Let your conscience guide you to turn yourself in and do the right thing,” Eddie Enloe pleaded to the driver. “You’ve taken two lives here, over something that was just senseless! And if you have children, or if you have a daughter, put yourself in our place, and turn yourself in and do the right thing.”
A spokesman for the Arkansas State Police said the agency has launched a criminal investigation into the crash. According to the family, Lucy told dispatchers before she died that it was a white, quad-cab pickup that cut her off and caused the first collision.
It would likely have some rear-end damage and some red paint that came off Lucy’s car.
Anyone with information about that truck or the crash may call 501-618-8100.
A GoFundMe account to help the Enloe family has been established, and you can donate by clicking here. A dance benefit will be held in Lucy's honor on Friday, August 11 from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at The Rev Room. For more information, click here.