Widow hopes husbands fatal motorcycle crash raises awareness about road safety

Jacob Morris, a new father, was a hard working man who always dreamed of providing for his family

Comal County – As her family prays for the others involved in a fatal crash that killed her husband, a La Vernia widow is hoping his story raises awareness about road safety.

Shannon Morris was the wife of Jacob Morris, 27.

“He was a good guy,” she said. “A social guy who would make friends with a stranger. He would walk up to someone and buy them a drink or something and then make friends with that person.”

She said he had friends all over the country including in the oil industry where he worked countless hours.

“He made sure he provided for his family,” she said. “He wanted to provide for his family. He would get as many hours as he could. Because of the hours he worked, I was able to become a stay at home mom with the baby. So that we could fulfill our plans together, and I could become a nurse and then he could quit the oil industry and we could be at home together more.”

Because of his great personality and relationships he established, all the way from Michigan where his other family lives, to other places around the country, the family’s support system has been strong.

“I would like to say thank you to the people from W&B Service Company, Xtreme Coil Services, Gladiator Energy, and Step Energy Services,” Morris said. “All of you made our life possible.”

Jacob Morris had a best friend named Hector Gonzales, 28, who they say was a great man and who worked with Jacob.

The two men did everything together.

“They were like two peas in a pod,” said Bailey Eldred, Jake’s sister. “Hector’s laugh was so amazing.”

Bailey Eldred remembers her brother as being the rock of her family.

“He was always like my go to if I ever needed anything,” Bailey Eldred said. “He was always there.”

Jacob Morris’s mother and stepfather agreed.

“He was a standup guy,” said Steven Eldred, his stepdad. “Everybody loved him. I am going to miss his phone calls. He would just call me up and say, ‘Hey old man, what’s up,’ and we would talk for hours. None of our holidays are ever going to be the same.”

“Jake was my best friend and I don’t think I can move on without him,” said his mother, Tami Eldred, as she wept.

Canyon Lake Fire officials say just after 6 p.m. Friday on FM 306, Jacob Morris and Gonzales were riding their motorcycles when somehow, Gonzales crashed head-on into a pickup truck.

Jacob Morris and his motorcycle slid several feet off the roadway.

Officials are still investigating what led to the crash.

Two other people in the truck, a 62-year-old man and 68-year-old woman, were taken to the hospital. One of them sustained life-threatening injuries.

Jake leaves behind Sophia, his 1 ½ year old daughter and pride and joy.

“It took us five years to have Sophia,” Shannon Morris said. “We had to have infertility treatment and it wasn’t easy. Our walk to be parents was difficult, but we made it happen with the help of science. We wanted it so much. I try to advocate for the infertility community strongly. I am a pre-nursing major. I want to get a BSN to provide a life for our daughter and to work in an infertility clinic or do some kind of labor for women. They are not alone.”

The family said he loved being a father.

“I would just look at how good of a father he was and I would just say, ‘Wow,’” said Steven Eldred.

They said his daughter is exactly like him.

“Her attitude, her actions, her stubbornness and of course her looks are just like him,” Shannon Morris smiled.

She said she plans to share every great memory of her father with Sophia including a special song to her heart.

“It is called ‘Oil Man,’” she said. “It is about a man working in the oil field and in the end he says, ‘If I die, I hope they know it was all for them because I will do it all again’. That is exactly what Jake would do. I am going to play that song for her so she would know how loved she was.”

As more and more motorcycle deaths plague the roads of Texas, Morris hopes her husband’s death encourages others to be cautious while driving.

“Your life can change in a split second,” Shannon Morris said. “They say look twice…don’t look twice, look three four five times. If you think you hear a bike or a something that sounds out of the ordinary look. To the families out there in my shoes, we are in this together. We are a community and family. If this has happened to you or a loved one or friend, I know your pain. We all know your pain. It doesn’t make it easier. I just hope everyone stays two wheels on the ground. We want the community to be safer for motorcyclist and pedestrians and other people on the road.”

She also stressed the importance of motorcyclists being extra careful on the roadways.

Shannon Morris said she is deeply praying for the other families involved in this crash.

While the investigation continues, loved ones are planning multiple events in honor of Jacob Morris and Gonzales.

This Saturday, a memorial motorcycle ride is scheduled. The exact time and place is still pending at this time.

The family is also raising funds for funeral expenses. If you would like to see how you can help, contact baileyeldred66@yahoo.com.

About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray is a reporter with KSAT12 News.