Out of Douglas comes more sad news for the Krentz family.
Sue Krentz, widow of Rob Krentz, murdered by a suspected drug scout on his ranch on March 27, was struck by a car as she was leaving St. Luke's Catholic Church on 15th Street in Douglas Saturday night. The incident occurred about 6 p.m.
Krentz was seriously injured and airlifted to University Medical Center in Tucson. She was thrown 30 feet and suffered a broken pelvis, head and facial injuries and internal bleeding, according to family friend Gary Thrasher, a Cochise County veterinarian.
She underwent surgery and has had blood transfusions. The latest word is she is conscious and in stable condition, says another friend, Douglas rancher Wendy Glenn. Glenn's daughter, Kelly, is in touch with the Krentz family, several of whom have gathered at UMC.
Thrasher added that one of those on hand at the UMC emergency room was Dr. Roland Snure, a neighbor and close friend of the Krentz family. Dr. Snure was among the speakers who eulogized Rob Krentz at his funeral service in Douglas.
The driver of the car who struck Krentz has been identified as Ramon Saucedo of Pirtleville. He has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.
Also injured in the incident was Shirley Gregory, a former Douglas High School physical-education teacher believed to be in her early 80s. Krentz was helping her across the street at sunset when they were stuck, Saucedo claiming the sun blinded him.
Glenn says Krentz and Gregory were airlifted to UMC in separate helicopters after police cleared the area to allow the choppers to land. Gregory also suffered a broken pelvis and a broken leg.
"Shirley is just a wonderful, beautiful lady, just the sweetest person," says Glenn.
As for Sue, Glenn says she had been doing better recently; she's been more able to maintain her composure when speaking of her late husband.
"On Thursday night, she was at the County Fair when they dedicated it to Rob," says Glenn. "The state land commissioner came down and presented a plaque in memory of Rob, and a lot of people got up and spoke. Sue has been at so many places where Rob has been honored, and she's done really well."
It has helped, says Glenn, that Sue has had a lot of friends and family around her. But she has also had the support of strangers and a few national political figures. Sue and four of her friends attended the recent Glenn Beck rally on the Washington Mall.
"They went sightseeing and just had a ball," says Glenn. "They all flew back together and had front-row seat right in front of Beck. It was awesome, a tremendous experience."
In the months since her husband's murder, Sue Krentz has become a reluctant symbol of the ongoing fight to take back our southern border from the people- and drug-smugglers who've become such a dominating and dangerous presence.
She knows better than anyone the threat they pose to our sovereignty and our citizens.
Sue and I have talked about this topic on numerous occasions, and we trade frequent e-mails. I have come to know her as a good person with a big heart.
And even though she's unpolished in the way she expresses herself to the media, with her emotions often on open display, she pushes on anyway.
She does so, without consideration of her flaws, because she believes it's the right thing to do, and her message needs to be heard.
That's the definition of courage. We should all have so much.
I also know she never wanted to be a symbol. She only wanted to be a wife, mom, friend and good citizen, able to live freely and without fear on her land.
She doesn't have that peace now, and hasn't for a long time, in spite of what the federal government tells us.
But she deserves it, as do all the citizens of our borderlands.
Sue needs us now. Pray for her.
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