Connie M Vermilyea

Eugene, Oregon

January 21, 2009

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
37 Air Force  


 4 Year Air Force veteran killed by drunk driver.

For memorial Service Snapshots, Click photo below

January 30, 2009

From KVAL TV 01/30/09:

Friends and family remember Connie and Jaziah Vermilyea

Story Published: Jan 30, 2009 at 5:17 PM PST
By Molly Blancett KVAL News

EUGENE, Ore. - It was a day the Vermilyea family hoped they never see.

Their daughter and grandson gone.

"I don't want to have anger but it is very hard to push it back," said Connie Vermilyea's dad Don Vermilyea, Jr.

Friends said Connie was was the kindest person they knew, someone who would do anything for anyone at any time.

"She would answer the phone a little drowsy and she'd wonder why I was calling," said her best friend Kim Perlot. "She'd listen for a little while and say you know, it's all going to be okay."

Jaziah's friends called him a lively and happy boy who had the most beautiful eyes and a spirit that matched them.

"He had an amazing smile that would instantly change your mood," said his teacher. "He was a really good friend to all of those kids."

His classmates wrote poems for their friend.

"Even though we can't run and play, my memories of you will never fade," said one classmate.

After the service, full military honors. Connie spent four years in the Air Force.

From My Fox 01/26/09:

Vermilyea family mourning loss of loving mom and boy

Created: Monday, 26 Jan 2009, 10:03 AM PST
Molly Blancett

KVAL -- 

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Anger and disbelief that two people they loved so much are gone.

"He just destroyed my child's life and my grandson," said Connie Vermilyea's dad, Don Vermilyea, Jr. "It makes me very angry that people get away with driving intoxicated."

"It's just so hard," said Connie's step-mom, Anita Vermilyea.

Connie Vermilyea's family and friends aren't sure what to do know that she and Jaziah are gone. So Saturday, they spent the afternoon remembering the loving mom and her little boy.

"It's been a hard two days here," said Anita.

It's been especially tough for her grandpa Don Vermilyea, Sr.

"I doubt there was anyone closer to Connie than I was," said Don Sr. "I loved her so much she was just the sweetest little thing."

"He'd come home from the mill at 11:30 and we'd be waiting for him to take us to Dunkin Donuts to get donuts at midnight," said Connie's best friend Kim Perlot. "I remember the day she called me to tell me she was pregnant with him and she knew that day what his name was going to be ... she loved him so much and she loved him so much."

While the Vermilyea's desperately look for peace in time of turmoil, they say they find comfort in knowing Connie and Jaziah are together.

A memorial fund has been set up at First Tech Credit Union. The money will help pay for Connie and Jaziah's funeral expenses. A memorial service is scheduled for Friday.

From KATU TV 2 01/23/09:

Man arrested in connection with Eugene crash that killed four, police suspect he was drunk

The crash killed Heather Mulgrave, 36, of Springfield, Connie Vermilyea, 34, of Springfield, her son Jaziah Vermilyea, 10, and Nima Gibba, 11. Mulgrave's son Jakobi, 10, was in critical condition at a Portland hospital Friday afternoon.

Story Published: Jan 23, 2009 at 5:23 PM PST
By Staff

EUGENE, Ore. -- Police arrested the driver of a red Isuzu Rodeo involved in a crash Wednesday that killed four people, two of them children.

Investigators believe Matthew N. Ellmers, 24, was driving drunk and ran a red light at the intersection of Bertelsen Road and West 11th Avenue. His Isuzu collided with a Toyota Highlander, pushing the second vehicle into a power pole.

Four of the five people in the Highlander were killed in the crash: Heather Mulgrave, 36, of Springfield, Connie Vermilyea, 34, of Springfield, her son Jaziah Vermilyea, 10, and Nima Gibba, 11, a friend of the other passengers. 

Heather Mulgrave's son Jakobi Mulgrave, 10, was also in the car and was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. He was listed in critical condition at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Ore.

Police charged Ellmers with:

* Four counts of Manslaughter in the First Degree
* One count of Assault in the Second Degree
* Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants
* Reckless Driving

If anyone witnessed the crash or has relevant information, they are urged to call Officer Michael Klews at (541) 682-5154 ext. 1193.

Friends held a candlelight vigil Thursday at the Springfield, Ore., studio where Mulgrave taught dance.

A memorial fund for Heather Mulgrave and a medical fund for Jakobi Mulgrave have been set up at Pacific Continental Bank.

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