Vern Tessio was sixty-eight years old when he died. But it wasn't of old age. It was a car crash that killed him.
It was the winter of 1997. Christmas Day. He was driving his Cadillac to visit his children and grandchildren living in another Oregon town.
The roads around here were very icy and slick and his car wasn't well equipped for this. It was a back road too so nobody even noticed.
Vern's car slid and the whole world started to spin. It wound up in a ditch and he ended up sprawled out on his back on the frozen earth. Vern lie there, his back broken and he couldn't move, couldn't get help.
He froze there and died. His children eventually found out and gave him a proper burial.