Father watches as bodies of wife, son pulled from icy river
By Gary Dimmock, Ottawa Citizen January 22, 2013 8:10 AMhttp://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Father+watches+bodies+wife+pulled+from+river/7853507/story.html
OTTAWA — It was just before midnight down at the Fitzroy ferry dock when police divers hauled up Daron Graves’ brand new Dodge from the bottom of the Ottawa River.
His father, Dave Graves, stood at the dock as police used a heavy crane to lift the 2013 Dodge Dart from the river.
They pulled the bodies of his wife and son from the car at 12:05 a.m.
That’s when he heard the music.
He was standing at the shoreline anchor point of the ferry dock this morning, going cold watching the police look for his wife Donna, 61, and son Daron, 29. He was standing on the dock “as far out into the river that I could go.” And he could hear this music.
He then realized there was no music. It was his own humming that he heard. He was humming a Christmas carol. It was Julie Andrews singing It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.
“In my heart I know Donna and Daron were talking to me. (Listen to the words and music) I heard the music before I realized that it was me who was humming — and the words began to appear in my mind,” Graves recalled.
“I spontaneously began clapping in joy,” he recalled.
Donna Graves, 61, and her son, Daron, 29, never made it home after another good night at the sports pub. They had gone for groceries and then hit The Prior Sports Bar and Restaurant for dinner and some billiards. His wife called him at home around 11 p.m. on Thursday and told him they’d be on their way home soon but they never made it.
He’s gone over different theories in his head about how his wife and son met death just 100 feet from his property, where sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning, their car plunged into a stretch of open water on the Ottawa River.
“I watched Daron come out of Donna’s womb and now I was watching as both Donna and Daron came out of another womb — Daron’s car — I was watching another birth not a death — a birth into the next step of the Ascension Journey,” he typed in a message to the Citizen.
Ottawa Police and the coroner’s office are now investigating the events that led to the deaths of the mother and son who somehow drove past the laneway to their home on Ferry Hill Road, beyond the dock and out onto the ice a further 100 feet before they hit open water and plunged. The car landed upside down under nine metres of water. Police used explosives to blast a hole in the river ice for divers to access the water.
Daron had planned to celebrate his 30th birthday with friends and family around a campfire this Saturday night at their riverfront property. The father said he’s decided to go ahead with the campfire party, with him supplying the firewood and friends and family bringing their own drinks.
The recovery operation took four days and had divers braving dangerous conditions, notably cold temperatures and shifting ice.
“I’m not going to get over it, but I will get past it,” said Graves.