Randy Budd, husband of Ohio schoolteacher Sharon Budd, who suffered catastrophic injuries when four young men dropped a five-pound rock on her car, has killed himself, Fox News is reporting. The 55-year-old man was pronounced dead at his Union County home late Saturday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
District Attorney D. Peter Johnson, who prosecuted the teens responsible for dropping the rock from a highway overpass in 2014 on Interstate 80 in Central Pennsylvania, lays the blames squarely at their feet.
“Randy Budd did not die from a gunshot; he died when those kids threw a rock through his windshield. They killed him like they killed her.”
Budd, vice-president of a hotel management company revealed that his wife had undergone seven major surgeries, losing a portion of her brain and one of her eyes in the process. The doctors had to use a piece of skull to construct a bridge between her eyes and remove bones from her face to ease the swelling of her brain.
The accident had left Sharon permanently disabled, helpless and requiring assistance for the rest of her life. After the accident, Randy had pushed for Ohio to rehabilitate overpasses and protect them with chain-link fencing to stop miscreants from gaining access.
“I kept thinking, this had to happen for a reason. Why would this happen? There has got to be something good to come out of this. Now it’s going to have an impact in Ohio for years and years to come, and somebody else won’t have to go through what we’re going through.”
Tyler Porter, Dylan Lahr, and Keefer McGee were sentenced by a Pennsylvania judge for their role in the incident that left the middle school teacher with severe brain trauma. A fourth teen, Brett Lahr had pleaded no contest to the charges and ended up with a lesser sentence. Brett Lahr in court had asked Sharon for forgiveness, apologizing for putting her through hell.
Authorities say before the tragic rock-throwing incident occurred, the teens had destroyed a window in a neighbor’s home, driven a car through a cornfield and shoplifted steaks at a convenience store. Keefer McGee in a plea bargain deal had told prosecutors that they had all driven away from the scene, laughing as the big rock struck the Nissan Rogue vehicle below.
McGee said they had returned to the Lahr residence where they had watched a movie before deciding to return to the scene of their hideous crime. An eagle-eyed police officer had noticed the boys visiting the scene a second time and taken down their license plate before subsequent investigations later found them guilty.
Mrs. Budd, a breast cancer survivor who had six surgeries in three months was a front-seat passenger in the family car with her daughter, who was driving, when a rock crashed through the front window and crushed her head. She had only finished speaking with one of her sons who had been deployed to Afghanistan on her cellphone moments earlier.
A few hours before his death, the father of four had sent a message to State Senator Gene Yaw reminding him to sort out the fencing issue in Ohio. He had also texted his family telling them that he loved them before he killed himself.
A statement released on behalf of the Budd family asked for prayers and privacy from the public as they coped with their loss.
“The Budd family are all together and are grieving the loss of their dad, husband, and brother. We deeply appreciate the tremendous support our family has received…we ask for your prayers and privacy as we deal with our loss.”
Randy Budd is survived by his wife and children Kaylee, Lucas, James, and Joe.
[Photo by Ralph Wilson/AP Images]