Health of local soldier Chase Simmons takes tragic turn

Posted at 11:53 PM, Jan 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-11 13:11:11-05

SAN DIEGO - The condition of a young Army soldier injured in a horrific car crash more than a year ago has taken a heartbreaking turn.

Army soldier Chase Simmons, who is now 23, is now in hospice care after serious injuries he suffered in a car crash involving a dump truck on Dec. 3, 2015.

Vicki Simmons said her life stopped the day of her son's tragic accident. The crash in Lakeside left Chase with a broken neck and brain damage.

"We've been fighting for him for a year," Vicki told 10News anchor Itica Milanes. "And we thought we'd win."

RELATED:Young soldier in critical condition following Lakeside crash

Doctors now say Chase's condition, specifically his brain, is deteriorating.

"So they told us we had to start making decisions," Vicki said. "We have three to four days left."

Two weeks before the crash, Chase had returned from serving in South Korea. He was a behavioral health specialist working with the soldiers with PTSD.

Keeping Chase's family company during this ordeal is Chopper the Biker Dog and his owner, Mark Schaffer. They’ve been at his bedside since the crash.

Thousands of strangers have also reached out with cards, letters and gifts. For any parent, having to bury a child is unfathomable.

Vicki confided, "This is our second son that we've had to bury."

The next few days for the family will be excruciating. There is but one small comfort.

"He'd probably say thanks for fighting so hard for me," Vicki said. "But it's OK to let me go."

Chase's family is already planning a full military funeral. If you would like to help with those expenses, click here for the family's GoFundMe page.