Kameron Fitzpatrick was a “little miracle baby,” grandfather David Fitzpatrick said Wednesday — unexpected and greatly loved.
Ten-week-old Kameron’s mother, Katie Powell, “was told she could not have children, and when she got pregnant, it was quite shocking and even the doctors were surprised by it,” he said. “She got pregnant and produced a perfect little baby.”
Kameron died Sunday, two days after the 2002 Dodge Stratus he was riding in was rear-ended on Interstate 84.
Father Justin Fitzpatrick, 21, of Mountain Home, was driving his fiancee and child to Boise on Friday to spend the weekend with the infant’s grandparents. The Stratus hit a tire tread on the way, damaging a back wheel, David said.
Justin slowed down — not wanting to drive fast with Kameron in the car — and clicked on his hazard lights, preparing to take the next exit, said David. According to Idaho State Police, the Stratus was east of the Simco Road exit when it was struck by a 2009 Pontiac G6 driven by Steven Shelly, 50, of Meridian.
Kameron, who had been in a child seat in the car, was flown to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, then transferred to St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, where he died.
Powell was taken separately to Saint Alphonsus by ground ambulance, according to ISP.
Attempts to contact Shelly on Wednesday were unsuccessful. Friends of the Fitzpatrick family told the Statesman similar details on Monday, but Idaho State Police said they weren’t ready to confirm specifics about the crash, in part because a complete reconstruction report could be a couple of weeks away.
“We still don’t have all the answers,” ISP spokeswoman Teresa Baker said Monday. “No charging decisions have been made.”
While family and friends gathered around Kameron in the hospital during his last days, they shared stories of the baby: how he laughed at farm animals, about his first trip to the wading pool and about his emerging personality, David said.
“He was a young baby (at) that age where they’re just learning to giggle and laugh and smile, that super-sweet age,” David said. “It’s horrible. He was a very sweet baby. I mean, all babies are sweet, but he was our grandbaby.
“The amount of lives he touched in such a short period of time is quite inspiring.”
A family friend set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical costs and funeral expenses. As of midday Wednesday, it had received $3,500 in donations, covering the funeral but not yet a headstone, according to an update posted to the page.
The page has provided some relief to Kameron’s parents, both for the financial assistance and the comments donors left expressing emotional support, David said.
“That’s really what they need now, more than anything, is the emotional healing,” he said.
Justin, a recently promoted senior airman with the Idaho Air National Guard who is stationed in Mountain Home, was planning his wedding to Powell and getting ready for a fall semester studying computer science at the College of Western Idaho, David said.
Kameron’s private funeral is scheduled for Thursday, with a memorial to follow at the home of David and his wife, Patricia.
“It’s a hard thing to come back from, but I think he will,” David said of his son and Powell. “They’re getting a lot of support from family, the military and complete strangers.”