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Mother of I-15 crash victim shares her heart

HESPERIA • This weekend will bitter-sweet for Carrie Nail, as she lays to rest her only child on Friday and walks down the wedding aisle the following day.

“Jonathon was supposed to walk with me. He won’t physically be there, but I know that he will still be there,” Nail said. “People asked me if we were going to postpone the wedding, but Jonathon would have wanted us to still have it.”

Jonathon Nail, 23, a veteran with the U.S. Army, died in a pre-dawn crash on Oct. 26 as he drove to class at Universal Technical Institute in Rancho Cucamonga.

“Even from a little boy, cars were his passion,” said Nail, who lives in Hesperia. “He wanted to work for BMW or for a big dealership where he could really work with cars.”

The day after she weds her fiancé, Craig Wagstaff, Nail will also celebrate her birthday without her son.

“He picked a heck of a time to leave,” said Nail, who has found strength from family and friends. “Jonathan was also seeing Courtney Weber. They were head-over-heels in love.”

Since Jonathan’s passing, Nail said she received much comfort after she discovered that her son touched the lives of many people during his short time on earth.

“Ask anyone: Jonathon could make you laugh at any time. He had an awesome sense of humor,” Nail said. “He had the biggest heart, but he was a pig-headed, no-nonsense kind of guy — but that made him who he was.”

Nail, who works for San Bernardino County, said her fellow workers, family, friends, Fort Irwin and members of Sunset Memorial Park and Mortuary have rallied around her to offer emotional and financial support.

“I can’t thank people enough; they have been so wonderful during this time,” Nail said. “The love and support has restored my faith in humanity.”

Julie Norton, founder of the Phoenix Foundation, said her organization is accepting donations to help the family.

“I would like everyone to stop and realize that life is so very short,” Nail said. “Don’t let a day go by without letting people know how you feel about them.”

Jonathon Nail died at the scene of the crash from his injuries after his Honda Civic, for unknown reasons, collided with the right rear side of a tractor-trailer, and was later struck by a 2004 Ford Escape as his vehicle stopped with no lights, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Friday at Sunset Hills, 24000 Waalew Road in Apple Valley.

Donations to help offset funeral costs can be mailed to HD Phoenix Foundation, P.O. Box 803 Apple Valley, CA 92307 or be paid online at www.gofundme.com/jonathonnail.

Rene De La Cruz may be reached at (760) 951-6227 or at RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com.


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