Wreck claims the last parent brother and sister had left
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
Gordon Brundle Jr. loved whitewater rafting. Despite growing up in both landlocked Carson and Salt Lake cities, Gordon, 54, had a passion for fast-moving water, and he pursued it.
In his lifetime, the fifth-generation bricklayer took 13 trips, a month at a shot, down the 217 miles of Colorado River that winds through the Grand Canyon.
On a few occasions, he was accompanied by his son Andrew Brundle II and daughter Charlene Brundle Morehead.
Charlene remembers her father being in awe of his river trips.
“He said that it was the most peaceful place on Earth,” she recalled Wednesday.
Last Friday morning, Gordon and Andrew Brundle were making their daily pre-dawn drive on Highway 395 through Washoe Valley to work at Koffer Masonry in Reno.
According to the Nevada Highway Patrol and what Charlene’s been able to gather, Gordon apparently misjudged the speed of a flat-bed trailer being towed by a Bizzy Buzzy’s Painting van.
Gordon’s Honda Accord ran about 70 mph into the slower-moving flatbed. The impact sent the Honda’s front end underneath and the trailer’s tail end into the sedan’s passenger compartment. Gordon died at the scene.
Andrew, 25, who was dozing off in the back seat with his girlfriend Bailey Collins, was severely injured. He’s been in a coma ever since, said Charlene.
“I thank God that Bailey was with them, otherwise my brother would have been in the front seat and he’d probably be gone too,” she said.
Collins, 18, received 32 stitches in her forehead and was released later that day.
Tragedy has visited this family several times before.
In 1978, Gordon’s brother, after whom he named Andrew, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Mound House.
In 1998, Charlene and Andrew’s half-sister Jodee Campeaux, 17, was killed in an accident in Silver Springs.
In 2004, their mother died of breast cancer.
“I never would have dreamed that something like this would have happened again,” Charlene said.
With no insurance, it’s up to Charlene, her husband, Gordon’s aging mother and Gordon’s five siblings to pay for his funeral.
Charlene said she doesn’t know what to do for Andrew’s mounting medical expenses. Andrew has no health insurance.
Andrew has not regained consciousness. He has no idea what happened, she said.
The prognosis is that he can recover but it could take months, even years.
But right now the bills are the least of her worries.
It’s when Andrew awakes that Charlene dreads the news she’ll have to share with him.
Gordon was close to his children, she said. Andrew lived with his father in both Salt Lake City and Carson City. Since 2004, Gordon spent most of his time in Carson City, Charlene said.
“I talked to him every day. He’s my best friend,” she said of her father. “We’ve always been close, especially after my mom died. He was all I had to talk to. I think that’s what kept him here. I think he might have had more of a life in Salt Lake, but he stayed here for me.”
A funeral service is set for Gordon at Larkin Mortuary in Salt Lake City at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Charlene said she’ll set up a memorial for her father in Carson City at a later date.
If you wish to contribute to a medical fund for Andrew Brundle II, donations can be made at any Wells Fargo branch, account no. 7064207496
– Contact reporter F.T. Norton at email@example.com or 881-1213.