The husband of Sharon Budd, the 54-year-old Ohio woman left brain damaged after teens threw a rock through the windshield of her moving car has committed suicide – two years after the incident.
Randy Budd, 55, was pronounced dead on Saturday in his Uniontown, Ohio, home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Harry Campbell, chief investigator for the Stark County Coroner’s Office, tells PEOPLE.
Budd and wife Sharon were the only ones in the home at the time, and his death came after he texted several family members telling them he loved them and made several phone calls to his brother, Campbell said.
In addition, he sent a message to Pennsylvania state Sen. Gene Yaw urging him to “please” get legislation passed to require fencing on highway overpasses,PennLive reported.
“The Budd family are all together and are grieving the loss of their dad, husband and brother,” the family said in a statement to The Canton Repository. “We deeply appreciate the tremendous support our family has received from the Massillon, Canton and Hartville areas over the past several years. We ask for your prayers and some privacy as we deal with our loss.”
Union County District Attorney D. Peter Johnson told PennLive that Randy was a victim of the four teenagers who injured Sharon two years ago.
“Randy Budd did not die from a gunshot,” Johnson charged. “He died when those kids threw a rock through his windshield.”
Sharon, who was married to Randy for 33 years, was driving with her husband and daughter Kaylee, 21, from Ohio to New York to see a Broadway play in July 2014 when a boulder came crashing through the window of their Nissan Rogue.
The former middle school language arts teacher and breast cancer survivor was hit in the forehead, suffering irreparable brain damage, a crushed skull and the loss of her right eye. She subsequently lost the ability to handle everyday tasks like showering and dressing herself, the family previously told PEOPLE.
Dylan Lahr and Keefer McGee pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in the incident, last year.
McGee was sentenced to 11 and a half to 23 months in county jail, according tolocal outlet WNEP, while Dylan was sentenced to 54 months to 24 years in prison.
Tyler Porter, who pleaded no contest to criminal conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, was sentenced to 22 months to 10 years in a state prison, followed by 10 years’ probation, WNEP said.
Brett Lahr, who also pleaded no contest to criminal conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, was sentenced to 18 months to 20 years in prison, his lawyer told PEOPLE in June 2015.
Last June, Randy told PEOPLE that the teens, “need a wake up call. We want them to come out and be productive citizens and to stop this destructive criminal behavior. I was young once too, but I never did anything like this – for God’s sake it was a 5 lb. rock.”
At the time, Dylan’s lawyer R. Bruce Manchester told PEOPLE, “Dylan appreciates the seriousness and magnitude of the injuries that Ms. Budd has suffered. He is, in my opinion, very remorseful. He’s willing to pay his dues.”
Johnson, who prosecuted McGee, Porter and the Lahrs, claimed to PennLive that Randy could no longer live with his wife’s severe medical condition.
“They killed him like they killed her,” he said.
Originally of Massillon, Ohio, Randy worked as vice president of sales and marketing of Radius Hospitality, a hotel management, sales and revenue management company, PennLive reported.
In his younger years, he was an MLB pitcher for the Montreal Expos.
After Sharon’s accident, Randy worked with an Ohio state legislator to get an Ohio Department of Transportation policy in place the requires protective fencing on new overpasses and ones undergoing significant renovations, according to the Associated Press. He was working with Sen. Yaw to do the same thing in Pennsylvania.
In addition to Sharon and daughter Kaylee, Randy is survived by sons Lucas, James and Joe.