“I’M READY TO TURN THIS PAGE IN OUR LIVES”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jun. 18, 2017) — On Saturday afternoon, The Post & Email noticed a tweet from commentator Ann Coulter which reads:
Not a “Happy Father’s Day” for Billy Inman on 17th anniversary of his only child’s death by an illegal alien. http://bit.ly/2sAIqIQ.”
We opened the link, which led to The Dustin Inman Society Blog relating the tragic story of the Inman family, whose only child, Dustin, was killed by an illegal-alien driver on Father’s Day weekend, 2000.
The collision took place in Ellijay, GA while the family was on a fishing trip, a sport Dustin particularly enjoyed.
The mission of The Dustin Inman Society is stated as:
With a focus on Georgia, The Dustin Inman Society is dedicated to educating the public and our elected officials on the consequences of illegal immigration, our unsecured borders and the breakdown of the rule of law in our Republic.
Named for one of the thousands of Americans who have paid the ultimate price for those unsecured borders, The Dustin Inman Society is a non-partisan coalition of citizens of all ethnicities and from all walks of life who recognize that illegal immigration and homeland security are the most critical issues in America today.
A Saturday blog entry posted by the organization’s president, D.A. King, begins:
Yesterday marked seventeen years since a horrific traffic crash in which sixteen year-old Dustin Inman was killed by an illegal alien to whom the state of North Carolina issued a drivers license and to whom someone gave a job. The illegal alien had encounters with local law enforcement several times prior to ruining the Inman families world but was released each time. Dustin was the only child of a salt-of-the-Earth Woodstock, Georgia family, Billy and Kathy Inman. Dustin’s killer escaped custody shortly after the incident and has not been re-captured. The U.S. government has told the Inmans’ that he is in Mexico and cannot be extradited.
King was interviewed by NPR in February 2009.
The Society stresses the importance of scrutinizing the voting records of public officials at all levels and for all eligible voters to participate in government so as to elect candidates who will act to stop the flow of illegal aliens into the U.S.
A 2006 blog entry posted under the category “What You Can Do” states:
Never underestimate the power of your letter, call or fax and e-mail to your elected officials. Politely contact them regularly!
Remember, these people work for you, at your pleasure. Some must ask for your vote every two years, some every four years – with U.S. Senators being elected every six years.
Make it clear to your elected officials, on every level, – from mayor and County Commissioners, through the Gold Dome, to Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson – that your vote is directly connected with their effort to secure our borders and work against illegal immigration.
As a result of the 62-mph impact of illegal alien Gonzalo Harrell-Gonzalez’s vehicle into the Inmans’ on June 16, 2000, not only did Dustin lose his life, but his mother Kathy became permanently disabled and confined to a wheelchair. Mrs. Inman suffers seizures and has significant medical needs with which Dustin’s father, Billy Inman, is attempting to cope alone.
Both parents were rendered unconscious and were unable to attend Dustin’s funeral.
Although indicted and charged for his crimes, Harrell-Gonzalez has never made restitution nor served prison time. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Harrell-Gonzalez is in Mexico and cannot be extradited.
For the last 17 years, Dustin’s father, Billy, has been his wife’s caretaker as well as the sole breadwinner. A soft-spoken and articulate man, he has struggled to not only meet his wife’s needs, but also to perform all of the tasks his wife was once able to do.
After reading a number of entries on the website, we reached out to Mr. Inman to request an interview, to which he responded immediately in the affirmative. The 51-minute interview was conducted just after Mr. Inman said his wife had experienced a series of four “breakthrough” seizures. Although we offered to call back at another time, Mr. Inman chose to continue, providing us with a glimpse of the pain he and his wife have endured for 17 years without seeing the perpetrator brought to justice.
Mr. Inman told The Post & Email that he was stunned that on the day marking 15 years since his son’s death, businessman and real estate mogul Donald J. Trump declared his presidential candidacy while voicing his intent to “terminate President Obama’s illegal executive order on immigration, immediately.”
The Inmans live in an adjoining district to that of Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, where a special election will take place on Tuesday to replace Rep. Tom Price, who became Trump’s Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary in February. As of Wednesday, polling was tied between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff.
Mr. Inman said that he works three days a week so that he is able to take Kathy to doctors’ appointments, which occur every week. When we asked him what his most significant need is at the moment, he said, “I don’t know. I’m living, but I don’t go out and do things. We go out once in a while to eat, or to Walmart or somewhere. It’s not that I’m broke, but I’m not well-off, either. I have to take her to the doctor and try to keep my bills paid; I have an issue with that, and it’s a whole story in itself.
“If all of these bills had been put in his name, he’d have been held accountable a long time ago. Our government knows where he’s at today. They say they can’t do anything about it because he’s in Mexico. I found out he has three kids, and I’m pretty sure that two of them came into the world at the expense of American taxpayers. When my son was born, he had a cleft palate. We were young and on our own, paying our own bills; we missed two payments on that totaling $600, and they came after my wife’s wages over that. But we do this for people who aren’t even supposed to be in our country.”
He further expounded:
All these politicians give their condolences, because I’ve talked to them over the years, and nothing more has been done. It’s happened to too many people throughout our country. I had the Atlanta Journal (Constitution) call me Thursday and tell me, No, they wouldn’t do a story about the anniversary. I said, “I guess ya’ll want to hear more about Jessica Colotl than about what happened to me.”
I’ve given three or four interviews, but it’s been 17 years. Some of the journalists I think the world of; they’re good people. One of them is George Franco of Channel 5.
At that point, The Post & Email said, “Illegal-alien immigration is a topic my readership is interested in, and after seeing your story, I felt I had to cover it.”
Mr. Inman responded, “Well, I appreciate that. Every little bit helps; that’s what got Donald Trump elected.”
“How do you think he’s doing on this particular issue?”
I think he’s doing awesome. This can’t be fixed overnight; this has been going on since 1986.
“That was when the ‘Reagan Amnesty‘ was passed.”
Everybody kept turning a blind eye to it, like everybody’s passing the buck. I think what’s wrong is that people aren’t punished anymore. If they do something wrong, they get slapped on the wrist and turn ’em back out. I’m like Charlie Daniels; I’m just a simple man, and that’s what I try to live by, and try again tomorrow.
“Does your wife have seizures every day?”
No, ma’am, I don’t know what’s up with her today. She’s had four this morning, but it’s been a month or so since she had the last one. She’s had a rough couple of months; there was Mothers’ Day, and her son’s birthday was May 23, and then Friday was the anniversary with Fathers’ Day coming up, too. It’s been kinda hard trying to work and take care of her. She has something called dystonia. It’s from the brain, and it twists your body. She has scar tissue on her brain which gets worse as she gets older, and it just breaks my heart.
Seventeen years is a long time, but we’re having to do it daily. There’s something going on with my wife every day from this accident. Last week we had to do a pool of blood somewhere; they had to find out where it is, and they did a laparoscopy on her Monday of last week. They didn’t find anything, but they want to do a colonoscopy on her now, and they don’t know if her body can handle it.
“Do you have an aide in the evening to help you with her personal care?”
The sitters take care of her while I work, and I try to do the rest. In order for me to get help from the state, they want to be paid anywhere from $14 to $25 an hour, and that comes out of my pocket. I don’t see how anybody can do it unless you have an acquaintance or friend who can come by.
I have some friends and family who help me out when I need something.
There’s a lot of insurance stuff that works on that, too. There’s a Social Security program where they’ll take care of her, but if something happens and the bills don’t get paid, they’ll take your property. That means that Mexican is still winning; that illegal alien is still devastating my life.
“Is your wife able to communicate?”
Oh, yes, she does that; sometimes I think she does it too much. I mean, she’s full of anger; it’s hurt her a lot. The only thing this lady’s done is work; work was her hobby. I try to get her on the computer and she’s scared of it. Her sister bought us a laptop back in ’05 or ’06, and she’s scared she’ll drop it and it’ll shatter to pieces. I finally got her a Kindle; she does a little bit, but she doesn’t take no interest in it.
She worked for Kroger, and still today, some of the people call and check up on her every now and then. We go out and eat with them once in a while.
I just truly don’t know what to do. I’m ready to turn this page in our lives, and that’s what somebody has to do. I would like to turn this page in my life.
“What would it take to do that?”
Have this guy held accountable for what he’s done. Until our government does something, I’m focused on this illegal immigration issue. I’m hoping something will be done so that what happened to my family won’t happen to somebody else.
A GoFundMe page has been established to help Mr. Inman with his wife’s extraordinary medical and care needs, donations to which can be made here:
On Saturday, The Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News published an article on the Inmans’ tragedy.
[Editor’s Note: Please look for a second installment on this story in the near future.]