It’s been just over one month since 5-year-old Gunner Langenderfer was killed in a car accident in Los Molinos.
The little boy's death has shaken the community there and in Red Bluff, where Gunner's mother Katie Ramsey is recovering from her injuries from that collision.
For the first time, Ramsey spoke about the accident Wednesday in an interview with KRCR News Channel 7.
“I’ve got good days and bad days,” said Ramsey. “So I just take it one day at a time.”
Nine days removed from a 26-day hospital stay Ramsey is fragile both physically and emotionally.
“I remember about 30 seconds of the accident. And that was being pulled out of the car and my baby lying next to me on Highway 99.”
On July 24, she was driving on Highway 99 in Los Molinos. She stopped to make a left turn onto Sherman Avenue when her car was rear-ended and pushed into the path of an oncoming big rig.
When the semi-truck slammed into her vehicle, it tore the car apart. Ramsey suffered multiple fractures including injuries to her hips. She is using a wheelchair as she recovers and she has a cast for her broken arm. But most of all, she has an injured heart caused by the loss of her 5-year-old son Gunner. That will take the longest to heal.
“He was wonderful. He would make me laugh. He would sing and dance. He'd put a smile on anybody's face.”
She got the news of Gunner's death while her life was being saved in the hospital.
“And I asked my Mom where Gunner was. And my mom kept telling me that he went to Heaven. And my concussion was so bad that she said it was every five seconds that I didn't understand. And I just kept asking. I thought Gunner was in the hospital with me.”
The heartache is felt by everyone in and around Ramsey’s life. A variety of fundraising efforts have been held to help her deal with the costs of mending her wounds and putting to rest little Gunner.
“All of the support made me just want to keep fighting and fighting and keep myself going.”
Ramsey said that her family, her fiancee and her 13-year-old son A.J., keep her fighting, along with memories of a loving child, whom his mother says was always an angel even before he went to heaven.
“He's an angel in heaven now. And he's okay. And he's with God. And that's what gets me through it, just knowing that he is in heaven and he is okay,” Ramsey said.
At the crash site on Highway 99, a makeshift memorial still stands. Neighbors and family members hope motorists will drive by a little slower and with a lot more attention behind the wheel.
The accident investigation is ongoing.
KRCR News Channel 7 spoke with the lead investigator who says they're looking into the possibility that cell phone use by the driver who hit Ramsey's vehicle might have been a factor in the crash.