Family won't let crash victim be forgotten
BEDFORD - It's been nearly a year since the car crash that shattered Lisa Roy's world, killing her only son and breaking her heart.
Andrew Roy was 19 years old when the car in which he was a passenger crashed on an exit ramp off Interstate 293 in Manchester on July 28, 2012, killing him instantly.
Next weekend, his family plans to remember the young man with the sweet nature and radiant smile in a series of memorial events. Members of the extended Roy family have already begun arriving in New Hampshire from Canada for the anniversary.
On Saturday, friends and relatives will gather at the Mall of New Hampshire in Manchester at 8 p.m. for a memorial ride to the MX101 track at New England Dragway in Epping.
That's one of the places Andrew loved racing his dirt bike, and that's where those who loved him will light 12 biodegradable lanterns and send them aloft.
On Sunday at 6:45 a.m., the time of the crash, the family will release 12 monarch butterflies in a memorial garden they made for Andrew at their home. His father, Sylvain Roy, later will place a handmade cross at site, off Exit 2 on the northbound side of I-293.
The family will attend Mass together at St. Elizabeth Seton Church in Bedford at 9 a.m., followed by a gathering at their home, which Andrew's friends are invited to attend.
Lisa Roy said she's found some comfort in planning these memorial events for her son. "I don't want him to be forgotten," she said. "That's my biggest fear."
She wonders whether he's watching over her, and she often sees signs that make her believe he is - butterflies, blue jays, a certain song on the radio.
She hopes Andrew sees how she keeps vigil for him. "To let him know he's not forgotten, he never will be. We miss him every day."
Roy said every day of the past year has been a struggle. "I can't imagine this is now my forever," she said. "Every piece of my broken heart hurts and misses him till we meet again."
After the crash, Andrew's younger sister, Vanessa, kept her brother's memory alive in her own way, creating a Facebook page - "R.I.P. Andrew Richard Roy" - filled with poetry, photographs and journal entries.
It's become a place for Andrew's friends and family to share their love and their grief. It's where his mother faithfully posts messages to, and about, her son.
"It gives me a little bit of therapy when I do," she said.
And it's where she posted this, on the nine-month anniversary of the crash:
"The 1 constant that will never change, the pain, the sorrow, the anger, the missing you like crazy, the why this happened to you, to us. The no goodbye chance, being robbed of a life with you in it, the one day wedding, the one day grandchildren, the no more I love you dude, no more hugs, the no more rolling of your eyes at me and saying 'Mom'..."
Ian Bolser, the then-19-year-old from Bedford who was driving Roy's black Mitsubishi Lancer back from the beach that July morning, was not charged in connection with the fatal crash, but Hillsborough County Attorney Patricia LaFrance on Friday said the investigation is still open.
LaFrance would not discuss the reason for the yearlong delay, saying it would become clear once the review was complete. "Until then I am not at liberty to say anything else," she said in an email.