A newlywed has died after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while he and his wife were traveling through Florida en route to his honeymoon destination.
Christopher Coffey, from Tennessee, was taken off life support on Saturday after his condition deteriorated and was surrounded by his family when he died that morning, according to a family statement on the crowdfunding website GoFundMe.
The statement added Christopher’s “final wishes were to donate his organs” and there was a family waiting for a transplant.
Christopher married his partner-of-10-years Mary on Saturday, September 11, and the following day as they drove down to Florida, a driver in a white Dodge Charger struck the back of his truck, flipping it over and down the interstate.
According to the family, the driver in the white Dodge Charger fled the scene before emergency service personnel arrived.
Christopher and Mary were taken to Halifax Medical Center where they were treated for their injuries.
While Mary had “painful but minor injuries,” Christopher was taken to a critical care unit where he was treated after sustaining a “life-threatening traumatic brain injury.”
“Fighter” Christopher then died a few days later. He was surrounded by Mary, his parents Joel and Angie and his best friend Jordan.
Allison Moore, an organizer of one of the two GoFundMe pages Newsweek has seen in connection to Christopher, said in tribute: “Chris will always be with us through our memories and his legacy will continue.”
Chesney Rutherford, Christopher’s cousin, told 10TV.com: “We all realize that finding that driver is not going to fix this family. It’s not going to heal Christopher, I can’t imagine anybody going through this and I would hate for that to happen to somebody else because we couldn’t find the person.”
“It’s very hard. This is not how it was supposed to go. And it’s hard to understand. And we’re all just trying to cope the best we can.”
Rutherford added: “We were very, very close growing up. We spend a lot of time together. He’s just an awesome person, he would give you the shirt off his back.”
The two GoFundMe campaigns are looking to raise $5,000 and $10,000, respectively. Money raised will go toward paying medical bills as well as hotel and travel fees.
Together, the two fundraisers have gathered more than $10,460 since they went live earlier this week.
Newsweek has contacted organizers Rebecca Coffey and Moore for comment.
Coffey died one week after getting married, according to his family. GoFundMe/ Allison Moore