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Crash victim's family explains source of strength to News 4

by Maggie Crane

KMOV.com

Posted on August 6, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 6 at 5:55 PM

It's not everyday you meet a family like the Schatzes.  Less than 24 hours ago, they lost their second son, Daniel, to a four-vehicle crash that made national headlines.  Daniel's pick-up truck was sandwiched between a semi cab and a school bus.  It was impossible to even tell what kind of silver metal that car once was. 

Daniel's dad watched as information from that crash scene, about 40 miles outside of St. Louis, unfolded. 

"(Daniel) was running an errand and he hadn't returned," Dave Schatz says.

Still, the thought never crossed his mind that Daniel was right there and then when the crash happened.

"It was right there -- less than a mile from our office, basically," Schatz says.

Daniel, home from Mizzou for the summer, was helping his dad at his family's business, Schatz Underground.

"He's a good Christian boy," Schatz says.  "He's a father's joy, and you couldn't ask for a better kid."

And now this Christian family wonders if Daniel was driving that deadly stretch of Interstate 44 for a reason.   

"By him being there, it allowed that bus to not take the full impact of the crash," Schatz says before choking up.

His wife, Chara, continues: "And that may have saved some other lives."

It had been a joyous week for the Schatz family.  Just Wednesday Dave won the Republican primary on his campaign for state representative. 

More big plans were on the table.
       
"We would have been getting ready for football and going to school on Monday with his brother," Schatz says.

The football stand-out from Sullivan High School and walk-on quarterback at Mizzou planned to follow his older brother to Westminster College this year.

"People are pouring love out and support, so we'll get through today and work on tomorrow too," Schatz says about the family and friends gathered in his kitchen.  Phones and doorbells rang in support throughout our interview too.

The Schatzes lean on their faith to carry them through the grief.

"That makes it more bearable that we know that this is just a stoppin' off spot, you know," Schatz says.

"We had 19 years with him, but we'll spend eternity with him," Chara Schatz says.
   
The Schatzes are more concerned about Daniel's friends and how they're coping. 

"They need to be prepared, and that's one thing I want people to get from this is don't think you have time," Schatz says.  "If you don't know Christ, you need to make sure that you do, because it can happen to anybody at any time."

Daniel's friends will get together Friday night at Sullivan High School for a prayer vigil in their friend's honor.

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