A black Nissan Pathfinder driven by Tony Schmucker slid off the road and down a steep embankment near the intersection of Lodgepole Drive and North Larimer County Road 23 west of Fort Collins in the early morning of Jan. 13. Schmucker was driving to the hospital, his wife Jill in labor with their third son. Their two young boys also were in the vehicle.
The vehicle rolled over, then struck a boulder and a tree before stopping. Tony, Jill and 4-year-old Rollie were knocked out in the crash, but 6-year-old Ryder, was able to call 911 for help.
All four had to be extricated from the vehicle by Poudre Fire Authority rescuers. Jill was was flown to Medical Center of the Rockies, where their son, Leedan, was born via emergency C-section. She suffered a broken back, but is expected to recover completely.
Tony was taken to Poudre Valley Hospital where he died. An investigation is ongoing.
Colleagues at Air Comfort Inc. in Fort Collins, where Tony worked for more than seven years, said they were mourning the loss of their friend an co-worker are raising money to help Jill and the children.
“He was a dedicated employee, an outstanding friend and a loving husband, father, brother and son. Tony will be greatly missed by all that knew him. Jill has a difficult journey ahead of her as she begins to pick up the pieces from losing Tony, and we ask for privacy at this time for his wife and young children,” the company’s systems coordinator Betsy Harper said in a press release. “We started a GoFundMe page, as a way to honor Tony and his life. We felt it is the best way for us to show the love we have for Tony, and his family and how much we will truly miss him.”
As of Jan. 23, the fund had grown to more than $64,000 from 751 donors. To contribute go to Gofundme.com/bharper-aircomfort.