'Just do Mable things': Father of 18-year-old Pain Court crash victim shares memories of his daughter
It’s been a long and sorrow-filled week for the extended families of Mable Baker, an 18-year-old Chatham-Kent woman who was involved in a fatal car crash last weekend.
“It’s been pretty rough,” Baker’s father, Jesse Ellwood said through tears Friday as he looked back at a photo album full of pictures of him and Mable, taken during a trip to Disney World a decade earlier.
“It’s been Saturday to us every day this week. And it’s Saturday tomorrow again. It’s one week already that we haven’t seen her,” he said.
Chatham-Kent police say Mable Baker died after a single-vehicle collision on May 21.
The crash took place around 8 a.m. Saturday on Pain Court Line near Bear Line Road.
Police say Baker was travelling eastbound on Pain Court Line when she struck a tree on the north side of the roadway. Police are still investigating.
She was quickly transported from the scene to Chatham-Kent Health Alliance with serious injuries and her family was alerted and escorted to hospital by police.
“We got to see her when they were trying to save her life,” said Ellwood. “We got to see her for a brief minute and kiss her before she was transported in the ambulance.”
When her condition wasn’t improving, Baker was taken by ambulance to Windsor Regional Hospital where the 18-year-old ultimately succumbed to her injuries.
“She was a fighter. She fought and fought and fought,” Ellwood said. “We were informed by the doctor there that we had lost our daughter after a long battle that they fought. I think we all died right there as well too.”
Baker had a zest for life and a stubborn determination, her father recalls, no matter what stood in her way.
“If it was a scary thing to do or a challenging thing to do, she wanted to do it first,” said Ellwood. “Whether she was going to fail at it or not, she just wanted to try it first.”
A hard working athlete, Baker tried her hand at many sports, including bowling, baseball, rugby, soccer and badminton.
“She loves sports, she loves her friends, she loves her family. She loved everything she did and she was, just great at everything she did,” said Ellwood.
These traits are what her family has affectionately dubbed “Mable things.”
It’s a slogan you’ll see around town adorning bumper stickers, carved into haircuts and very soon, on tattoos worn by those closest to her.
“Live your life to the fullest, kids. Be careful driving. Anything can happen. You don’t know,” warned Ellwood. “Just do Mable things. Just live your lives to the fullest. She’d want that. And we all want that.”
Baker was laid to rest Thursday afternoon where hundreds gathered to support the family and say a final goodbye.
“We didn’t want to turn a single soul away. There’s too many souls she’s touched,” said Ellwood. “I had a big hole, but it was filled with love.”
After the funeral and burial, Baker’s mother Brandi released a dove into the sky to brighten the day, an analogy for her daughter’s ability to brighten-up any room with her enigmatic smile.
“You know Mable was there because you could see that smile from wherever you were walking from. And it’ll continue in all of us,” said Ellwood.
“Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But one day, we’ll smile again,” he said.