CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR)- Marine and Vietnam veteran George Van Orden lost his life in a tragic car accident on Midlothian Turnpike Friday night.
His oldest son tells CBS 6 that his dad lived the corps instilled values until the very end, even though he was decades removed from military service.
George Van Orden, age 73, pulled two tours in Vietnam. He was considered an expert marksman while serving in the corps-spending his retirement years in Chesterfield County
“Probably one of the most patriotic people you’d ever meet in your entire life,” his son said.
Van Orden– a husband, a father, a grandfather– had just finished dinner with his wife and daughter Friday night. His daughter headed off to the movies and he and his wife got in the car to return home.
Police said Van Orden had a green light when he pulled onto Midlothian Turnpike; only to be broad sided by a driver fleeing from police.
Chesterfield police later identified the suspect as Karon Porter. They charged him with DUI -maiming and several other charges.
“I’m a Christian, I forgive this kid,” said Van Orden’s son. “I don’t have an axe to grind, but I want him to pull his time. I don’t want leniency.”
Van Orden’s oldest son says he had just spoken to his father three hours before the accident and as recently as ten days ago had joked about how they were getting older and living on borrowed time.
One thing he says his dad never shied away from talking about was death and even though decades removed from the Marines-he believes his dad laid his life down on Midlothian Turnpike Friday night to save others.
“I truly believe my dad died to save other families from coming into contact with this kid and it will keep him off the road.”
Van Orden’s wife has been released from the hospital. Her family tells CBS 6 that she’s wheelchair bound for at least two months with shattered ankles, several broken ribs and a broken shoulder.
Karon Porter was arraigned in court via video this morning.