Mother of helicopter crash victim speaks

By Matt Horton bio | email

JAMESTOWN, SC (WCSC) - "In the back of my mind I just thought something was wrong with Jonathan, but I never expected that."

The words are those spoken by a woman who has had to come to terms with too much, too soon.  On Sunday, Faye Shively's son, 1st Lieutenant Jonathan Shively was killed when the Apache helicopter he was training on for pre-Iraq deployment exercises crashed while taxing the runway at McEntire Air National Guard Base near Columbia, SC.

"At  11:30, when I heard a car drive up our driveway, I went to the front door," said Faye Shively from her Jamestown home, surrounded by close family members.  "When I saw them [the Army representatives], I think  I knew what they were doing, but, as I opened the door, I said that they couldn't tell me that something bad had happened to Jonathan."

The 33-year-old 1st Lieutenant had lived in Jamestown since he was 11, says Ms. Shively, and worked with the Armed Forces for about nine years. 
Ms. Shively says other than a military background, her son recently received his undergraduate diploma from Charleston Southern University, where he was also working on a Masters degree.  His fiance, Diana, says she had just moved to the Columbia area to be with Shively in March. 
Two weeks ago, they set their official wedding date, she said.

"I keep thinking I am going to wake up from a horrible nightmare," said Ms. Shively.  "I don't know if you really ever do cope with losing a child.  You cope, but it is extremely hard to process the whole situation in a case like this where [the death] is so unexpected."

While an Army-led investigation continues to search for the exact cause of crash and further details, Ms. Shively says she will continue to work with family to plan her son's funeral, and cope with their loss.

"I think you have to have a lot of faith, you have to know that there is a higher being that is in control; there is some reason behind all of it," she said.

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