Blake Mulder met Kelly Mulder at Badin High School in Hamilton. She returned there Friday night, two days after his shocking death in a highway crash, for a vigil in his memory.
"Blake was a one-of-a-kind person,” she said. “He was contagious with his laughter. He was a genuine heart.”
Blake Mulder died Wednesday morning on U.S. 127 after a steel coil — a slab of steel that’s been flattened and rolled up, like a spool of thread — fell from a semi-tractor trailer and struck his car while he traveled in the opposite direction. He was dead by the time police arrived.
The semi driver knew instantly that the coil had fallen but did not realize, according to his dialogue with a 911 dispatcher soon after, that another driver had been hit.
“Traffic is stopped back there, so it must be in the road,” the driver said. “Nobody is injured or anything, but it came out of my trailer.”
Behind him, another driver was calling 911 with a view of the wreck.
“There has been a bad accident,” she said in a recording of the call. “There is debris all over the road.”
At the Badin High School vigil, Kelly Mulder encouraged attendees to remember Blake’s life — that he was a loving father to their children, a caring friend and a person who brought joy to the lives of people who knew him.
"I wanted everybody to be able to come together, to not only cry together but to laugh together and to remember him for what he would want us to be, and to see the smiling face that he is and not remember what happened,” she said. “I told so many people to hold their loved one so tight, because there's nothing that could have prepared me for that call at 7:28 in the morning that he was gone.”