San Antonio – A widow is hoping her husband’s tragic motorcycle crash encourages others to thoroughly pay attention to motorcyclists on the roadways.
Nicole Short was the wife of Chadwick Short, 35, an Army veteran.
San Antonio police say her husband sadly t-boned into a sedan, as the driver of that sedan was backing out of a home.
Short said she was at work when she got the call.
“I texted and called him and got no answer,” Short said. “Then I got a random call from a 210-number that asked if I knew anyone with this particular tattoo. I said yes, and they told me he was at Brooke Army Medical Center.”
Short said she feared the worst.
“I don’t even remember getting in my car,” Short said. “I was driving and I remember screaming at the top of my lungs, ‘Please God, don’t take him!’”
She said when she arrived, she realized the news was more tragic than she could ever imagine.
“The investigator did tell me that there was surveillance footage of the accident,” Short said. “He told me my husband was driving the speed limit so he was not speeding. The woman did check but she saw an SUV and after it passed she started to go. My husband had a one-second reaction time.”
Short said her husband tried his best to avoid losing his life.
“He was on his way home,” she said with tears in her eyes. “He had a one-second reaction time and he laid his bike down to try to save himself but in that one second, he was ejected and he hit the car first.”
Short said her husband was her everything.
“He was my soulmate, my person, my hero and I have never in my life felt such agonizing pain,” Short said.
She remembers the day they met.
“We were in Colorado Springs,” Short said. “He was preparing to deploy and I knew the second I saw him and his blue eyes that he was my person. He said the same thing to me. I was his person.”
Chadwick Short served in the U.S. Army for nine years and did three tours.
Short said he loved his country.
“He loved it to the point where he would argue with anyone to defend his country,” she said. “He had his facts lined up and he didn’t care if you were a family member or a stranger. He would argue to defend his country.”
She said he lit up every room he walked in.
“He was such a goofy person,” she laughed. “It didn’t matter what kind of situation we were in. He would make some sarcastic out-of-this-world comments that you would look at him and say, ‘what did you just say?’”
She said his six children were his greatest love.
“He could be in a bad mood or even had a bad day at work, but when he would walk through the doors and see his children, he would say, ‘That’s it. Everything’s better.’”
Chadwick Short was also known for his love for his motorcycle.
“I would say his motorcycle was his mistress,” she laughed. “He bought that motorcycle without discussing it with me. He just said, ‘Hey, I bought one.’ I was in shock. I was upset about it but I ended up loving that bike.”
She said she loved the several rides he would take her on.
“He wanted to be the first one to take me to Wisconsin, so he woke up one morning and said, ‘Get dressed. I got a babysitter. Get on the bike and he just took us on this long ride. That was one of the most memorable rides.”
She said her husband always wanted a motorcycle.
“It was his therapy for him,” Short said. “He would go for a drive and there were countless times he would call me up and say, ‘Let’s go for a ride.’ He could feel so tense when I would get on but when the bike was going, he was just so relaxed. He became part of the bike. That was his favorite thing to do.”
After Chadwick Short’s death, the community stepped in and helped Short afford t-shirts in honor of him. She and her family had only been living in San Antonio for three weeks.
“They helped raise $1,000,” Short said. “I never thought in a million years that a community I never met would come together for a person they never knew. They made us feel like family.”
The shirts had a passage about a motorcyclist’s last ride on the back, which had deep meaning to Short.
“To me, it means that if you see someone on a motorcycle, almost everyone I know, including my husband, has a passion for it,” Short said. “A biker’s last ride is their way into Heaven and that is how they are getting there. It means other bikers can see them when they ride but they just can’t go with them yet. That is how my husband went to Heaven. He went out the way he loved, doing the thing that made me happy.”
She said she hopes her husband’s tragedy encourages people to pay closer attention to motorcyclists.
“Pay attention,” Short said. “Thoroughly look to your left and right and make sure everything is clear. When you see a motorcycle, I want you to think about my husband. When you see a motorcycle, I want you to think about his six children. I want you to pray for every motorcyclist you see on the road and say, ‘I got your six.’ Watch for them and have their backs.”
She also said she hopes this will encourage families to love harder.
The family is currently moving to Georgia where they have a support system to help them through this emotional challenge.
“My husband was so happy and he was so excited to move to Texas because he was going to be able to ride his bike more which was number one,” Short said. “It is really hard for me to leave the last place that I know he was happy. If he was here, he would tell me, ‘You got this baby girl, you got this,’ she said through tears. “He would hug me and kiss me and tell me I was making the right decision.”