Carolyn Grey Remembered as Sweet Mom Who Touched Those She Knew

Neighbors, co-workers, strangers recall mother of three and nurse who comforted other's lives.

Jacki Carugati McHale had never met Carolyn Grey.

Wednesday, though, she picked some lavender from her garden and walked to the corner of Bell and Route 6 to leave flowers in Grey's memory.

"I did not know her," she said. "I'm one of the women who, maybe we played on the playground together."

McHale had her 3-year-old son with her.

"I don't know them but my heart has just been consumed for her," she said. "It could have been any of us.

"Grey was turning left from Route 6 to Bell Road Tuesday afternoon, when her SUV was hit by a semi. The truck impacted her passenger's side, pushing the SUV into a light pole.

Grey's neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, was occasionally consumed with grief while talking about Grey.

"She was the sweetest person," she said. "She was always in the yard playing with the kids."

Grey's neighbor said the mother was easy-going and kind.

Steve Zmudka witnessed the accident and was one of the people who helped cut the straps on the infant's car seat, removing her from the SUV.

Zmudka lives in Hunter's Crossing, as does McHale. He did not know Grey, but did attest to traffic problems on that corner. He has lived in the subdivision since it opened 12 years ago. With the traffic light, he said it is a little more controlled, but the truck traffic makes it dangerous.

Comforting others

Grey was a nurse who worked at Provena St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, where one of her children was taken following the accident.

"Our heartfelt sympathy and prayers are with her family," said Provena St. Joseph marketing manager Rich Matula in a statement. "Carolyn was a valued employee and she will be missed."

The hospital had not released information about a memorial.

"At this time I think they may be working out the details," Matula said.

Carolyn Grey's family declined comments at this time.

Dawn Aulet (Editor) May 12, 2011 at 10:19 PM
Michelle, Carolyn was a nurse at Provena St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet. They could not confirm what department she worked in most often.
Renee Bogacz May 13, 2011 at 02:44 AM
My daughter (also 17) came upon the scene moments after it happened. My family is feeling exactly the same way. My heart aches for this woman and family I don't know, and my daughter has left flowers at the scene twice now. We pray fervently for healing for the children and peace for the family. I know I won't forget her even though I never knew her, and my daughter feels the same way.
Michelle Williams May 13, 2011 at 02:46 AM
You can't blame the truck driver. It was an ACCIDENT. She misjudged, sadly.
Michelle Williams May 13, 2011 at 02:49 AM
If he was speeding, I'm sure he would have been issued a ticket or citation by now. And besides, if you go to the scene of the wreck and notice all the spraypaint in the road and markings, that is done by investigators to determine speed at the time of the accident. Trucks cannot slow down like a car, and that was a fully-loaded semi. I'm pretty sure the guy feels awful enough without people lumping all truck drivers into one category. I see worse drivers every day who operate cars, SUVs and minivans than I do semi-truck drivers. I mean really? When was the last time a semi truck cut YOU off? Or was it a car? Exactly.
ADM May 13, 2011 at 02:56 AM
I have to agree that we can not place blame on the truck driver if we were't there. Although it's a huge tragedy and my heart goes out to those kids and her husband... we have to remember accidents do happend, people text while driving, lights turn yellow & red and we don't always know what the other driver is doing. All we can do is take control of our own vehicle. With children in the car, as a mom I can say, it can get distracting and we can be in a hurry and we can go absent minded. Truck drivers can not stop on a dime and although the speed on ANY street can be reduced, we all have to pay attention to lights, speed, children and life. My prayers for her family and the truck driver who yes have to live with this for ever.
Shauna May 13, 2011 at 02:57 AM
I totally agree with you Michelle!!! I saw the scene today and the tire marks show where the impact was. This was an terrible and sad accident, but it is ridiculous to blame the truck driver!!! My prayers and thoughts go out to Carolyn's family and friends.
Cherly Cottler May 13, 2011 at 10:53 AM
I think she pulled in front of him to hurry home with a busy day and hungrey kids,,, and thought she had it,,,, it only takes a second of a thought to turn fast.... I bet she thought she had that second to make it. Sad,, but we are all in a hurry to get home and at that time of day I can total see it. Cherly Cottler
Carol Cissell May 13, 2011 at 08:13 PM
I have read so many speculations regarding this crash, and since there is so much speculation - it also creates terrible rumor that most of the time is inaccurate. If you weren't there, how could you know exactly what happened? Can you imagine reading some of these comments should it be your wife/mother that passed away so cruelly? Please, let the proper authorities finish their investigation and reach the determination of what actually happened. Not hearsay by Channahon/Minooka residents. The fact of this situation is that it had a very tragic ending...if anything, EVERYONE should take more precaution anywhere while operating any type of vehicle. Many prayers to the Grey Family as they go through this difficult time.
Dawn Aulet (Editor) May 13, 2011 at 08:52 PM
Thanks Carol. When the Illinois State Police finish their investigation, I will post whatever their findings are on Channahon Minooka Patch. In the meantime, speculation is fruitless. However, I will say that it is useful to remind ourselves and one another that people die in cars everyday. Sometimes it is an accident. Other times it is a dumb decision. I lost my brother-in-law in a car crash in 2002. In his case, it was both. Both drivers made bad decisions and someone died. Stay Safe everyone.
Carol Cissell May 13, 2011 at 09:19 PM
I'm sorry to hear about your brother-in-law.....it is never easy for anyone no matter the circumstance. I hope I didn't come across as rude in my above post - just very concerned that a close friend or family member may misconstrue the comments posted. If there is any information regarding a trust fund or any kind of assistance that we can give the family, would you please let me know? I'd greatly appreciate it...:) Thanks for keeping everyone up to date with the local happenings.
cheryl cottle May 13, 2011 at 11:58 PM
your name is very similar to mine, some thought that I posted but had not even heard of this site Cheryl
Cherly Cottler May 14, 2011 at 12:01 PM
I don't mean to sound mean but really,, this isn't about you its about this horrilbe accident wouldn't you say Cheryl Cottle
Cherly Cottler May 14, 2011 at 12:04 PM
I am sure they are already in dispair over this horrible accident that any comment would put them over the edge here Carol.
Christina May 14, 2011 at 12:56 PM
I really hope the 4 year old is going to be okay, that poor family! They need all our prayers to help them through this terrible time. I'm sure once the investigation is over with they will release all the facts of the accident. Please everyone drive safe and be cautious!
Bob May 14, 2011 at 12:57 PM
This is truly a tragedy for all, if blame is to be put on anyone let us start with our village administration for their poor planning on traffic when trucking facilities are allowed without first looking in to the effects on residential areas.
tom May 14, 2011 at 02:11 PM
Seems like break away/ bendable traffic poles would be a safer alternative than making them so resistant to impacts.
Kristin May 14, 2011 at 05:15 PM
Carolyn worked in the MICU @ Joes she will be truly missed by all! Prayers thoughts and love go out to everyone involved!
Kristin May 14, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Four yr old is doing fine, broken leg came home yesterday from hospital.
Ingrid May 15, 2011 at 02:19 PM
I have been thinking about this terrible accident all week. I feel so sorry for her family. As hard as this is, we have to believe that Carolyn would have rather it this way than if she had survived and the children had died. They say most accidents happen close to our homes because we let our guard down because we have traveled a particular area a million times. Let us all try to slow down, be more cautious no matter where we are. In addition, not to say that this happened with this accident, but stay off your cell phone while driving. I can't tell you how often I see people, mostly women with children in the car, on their cell phones while backing up in parking lots, turning left into traffic, etc....driving is enough of a distraction let alone talking on a phone while driving. It's just not worth it...Peace be to the Grey family.
Danielle May 17, 2011 at 03:44 PM
I was the car directly behind Carrie and it's my name on the State Police report as the "eye witness"... If you weren't there, please stop speculating. I will say this--- they were both in error on judgment... Yes, she turned on a yellow, but the truck driver had no intention of slowing down and the light was yellow turning red!!! I will never understand how he could just walk away and get on his cell phone when I was screaming at him that there were babies in there and to help.. Bill got the infant loose and I tried to keep the 4 year old calm and looking at me rather than her mommy... I didn't want her last image of her mommy to be what it was... I pray each day for these children, especially Victoria (the 4yr old) as I have a near 4 year old of my own and wouldn't want those to be the last images in her head of me...I pray the infant won't remember anything either... I may have never met this family before, but they will be ingrained in my heart and forever a part of my life from what we all went through last Tuesday...
FP May 18, 2011 at 03:05 PM
Danielle, I live in sub and was on my home and drove past minutes after it happened with my 4yr old daughter in the car. At the time I didn't know what happened (police were directing traffic) I just knew the outcome was horrible. When I found out the details, I was consumed with grief for this family I never met. All I kept thinking about is what that poor 4yr old girl was thinking and going through seeing her mother like that. I am so happy to hear that she had someone there to help distract her the best you could. Hopefully that's what she'll remember. My hear goes out to you, the family and everybody that was involved that horrific day. I wasn't and it weighs so heavy on me everyday. God bless all those that helped in any way. I pray for God to help everybody get through this tragic time of sorrow.
Reason May 18, 2011 at 06:30 PM
Danielle, some of us are trained in our line of work, or the military, that a victim should not be moved unless there is immediate danger by leaving them there. I would guess you did not know if the child had a back or neck injury that could have been made much worse by moving them. If I had been there, I would have gotten on my phone to call trained authorities also. From what I've read, the first responders took quite a while getting the 4 year old out for that very reason. People deal with thing differently and just because it is not your way, does not make it wrong. It is a tragic ACCIDENT, but it is wrong to blame the truck driver. Trucks can not stop as quickly, that's just the physics of the situation. What you perceived as 'no intention' may have just been no way possible to slow down in time. I for one will pray for healing and peace for all involved but will not assign blame where none has been determined yet.
Cindy White May 19, 2011 at 12:34 AM
Seems to be a lot of judgement on this blog/paper. Everyone say a prayer and let the greater powers judge
Rosalinda May 23, 2011 at 07:43 PM
can anyone verify whether Carolyn has other children from a previous marriage?? if so, why were they not identified in her obituary?
Vanessa Holloway May 23, 2011 at 08:16 PM
Of course, this is something that Patch can look into. But, I'm curious why you think Carolyn may have been married before and may have children from a previous marriage.
Rosalinda May 23, 2011 at 08:40 PM
From what I was told (hosptial talk), Carolyn was previously married to a man who died from cancer about 6 or more years ago and had a child (or children) with him. Possibly a daughter named Kelly?
trivialthings May 23, 2011 at 09:21 PM
Danielle please comply with your own statement, "please stop speculating." You may have been directly behind the other driver's car but you show prejudice toward the truck driver. You say,"Yes, she turned on a yellow, but the truck driver had no intention of slowing down and the light was yellow turning red!!!" She turned on yellow but for the truck the light was "yellow turning red?" You also are of the opinion that,"the truck driver had no intention of slowing down." How is it you can know the intention of another person? That truck probably weighed somwhere between 50000 to 80000 pounds. Did you consider he COULD NOT stop that truck in time? You're most egregious comment is, "I will never understand how he could just walk away and get on his cell phone when I was screaming at him..." This person was just involved in a terrible accident, possibly confused, or could possibly have been calling for help, AND your screaming at him wasn't helping the situation. You seem to display some bit of pride having your name in the "eye witness" box of the police report. If you're going to be a true "eye witness" try doing it without the predisposed prejudice toward one of the parties.
Grace May 24, 2011 at 02:04 AM
Carrie's kids are fine and out of the hospital. Veronica(4 yr old) is in a wheelchair and has a broken leg and bruised face. They are holding in. God bless Carrie!
John Koski October 27, 2011 at 11:18 PM
Cherly Cottler is Cheryl Cottle, don't be fooled. Only Cheryl is twisted enough to say those things. Cheryl Cottle drives a bus and on another website "Cherly Cottler" posted a comment saying "I love this place,, I am a bus driver and go here all the time I just wish I had someone to go with cause I really just sit alone. But anyways its a great place even for me the loner ". Cheryl always goes to Grandma's in the morning when she drives her bus. Here the link to the website, it's one of the last comments. http://www.topix.com/forum/city/minooka-il/TJVB8FML8VM2PO5NA/p2 I wonder if "Cherly Cottler" is still stealing people's identity and committing credit card fraud. If anyone in the area has had their identity stolen, I would first look at "Cherly Cottler". Check out this link where Cheryl said more sick things about an accident.
John Koski October 27, 2011 at 11:19 PM
Cheryl, you know that's you. Stop lying, you suck at it


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