‘I was still holding on:’ Parents take newlywed son off life support after hit-and-run

Chris Coffey, 29, died one week after his wedding day

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The parents of newlywed Chris Coffey, 29, made the difficult decision to pull their son off life support at Halifax Medical Center Saturday, one week after he had married his high school sweetheart.

Coffey and his wife Mary married on Sept. 11. The next day, on Sunday, Florida Highway Patrol Troopers said a driver of a newer white model White Dodge Charger merged into their lane on Interstate 95 in Volusia County causing Chris’ truck to roll over several times.

His wife survived with minor injuries. However, Chris was in a coma. His parents made the decision to take him off life support on Saturday, one week after his wedding.

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“He told us his final wishes, we didn’t want him to live out life artificially,” his father Joel Coffey said said. “I was still holding on to the hope he would actually draw a breath, it’s hard.”

Part of honoring Coffey’s wishes was to donate his organs. He donated his corneas and kidneys to people who were on the waiting list.

“He will give someone the gift of sight,” Joel said holding back tears. “And the kidney donations, that’s two people that will be able to come off dialysis and have a new start in life.”

“I think in the end that’s what’s helping me,” his mother Angie Coffey said. “I feel like he wouldn’t have it any other way. He wanted someone to have an increased quality of life.”

However with his death, it now makes what was a hit-and-run investigation into a traffic homicide case, Troopers said Tuesday.

Troopers are looking for that newer model White Dodge Charger, with front-end damage and a black painted spoiler on the back. Traffic homicide investigators are looking for vehicles that meet that description within a 10-mile radius, a spokesperson for FHP said. If you see a vehicle that matches that description or know anything about the now deadly hit-and-run, call Crimeline at 1800-423-TIPS.

“I would love everyone driving around town to keep their eyes open,” Joel Coffey said. “Any auto repair shops with damage that matches the description please contact the Crime Stoppers.

Chris Coffey’s parents are still in Volusia County arranging the funeral, they have set up a GoFundMe to help with expenses.


About the Author:

Nadeen Yanes joined News 6 as a general assignment reporter in 2016. She grew up in Leesburg and graduated from the University of Florida. Nadeen has won three Associated Press Awards for her reporting on the Pulse Nightclub shooting, the trial of the Pulse gunman's wife and the capture of an accused cop killer, Markeith Loyd.