Boulder Kills Driver: Mother Saves Family

August 18, 2009

In a heroic story of the day, a passenger guides a car to safety after a boulder kills the driver. Read more here and see how the passenger came to the rescue after the boulder struck.


This is a tragic, yet heroic story for the day. A boulder killed a driver last Friday, leaving a mother to steer her three young boys to safety.

Thomas Murphy of Kansas City, Mo was driving on Colorado Highway 82 on Friday with his three young sons and his wife, when a boulder the size of a briefcase fell on their sport utility vehicle. The boulder hit Thomas knocking him unconscious and injuring his 11-year-old son. The other two boys, ages 8 and 4, were not injured.

His wife tried to steer the car to safety, by shifting the car in neutral. The car came to a stop about a mile down the road.

The Murphy family had been vacationing in Pitkin County and was on its way back home when the heartbreaking accident happened.

Thomas was pronounced dead at the hospital. Ethan, the 11 year old injured, suffered abrasions to his right arm and a fractured orbital bone. He underwent surgery on Saturday and is expected to make a full recovery. The other two boys and their mother were not injured in the accident.

The family issued this statement in regards to Thomas’ death,

Tom Murphy was an awesome husband, dad and friend. His wife and kids were his passion. It was important to him to give back to the community — he supported many charities and cultural arts groups with his time and talent in Kansas City. He was a life-long University of Kansas Jayhawk fan.
His favorite place on the planet was Colorado. He came out to ski a few weekends every winter and returned every spring with his family for Spring Break. He brought his family back in August for an annual summer road trip.

This past week he spent in Snowmass, via a stop in Boulder and a detour through Rocky Mountain National Park. In typical Tom style, the family vacation turned into a group of four families — 20 people enjoying the mountains: hiking, biking, white-water rafting and several rounds of golf.
Though gone in an instant, his generous spirit and fun-loving nature will live on in his family and friends.

Such a sad ending to a fun family vacation. Our condolences to the family.

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24 Responses to “Boulder Kills Driver: Mother Saves Family”

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  1. 1
    lorraine m schmidt Says:

    Prayers to you and your family. God bless.

  2. 2
    Raymond Rivera Says:

    Very sad ending of what was supposed to be
    a normal family vacation.
    Its a shame to lose a man who’s top priority was his family.
    My prayers to him and his love ones

  3. 3
    Virginia Trujillo Says:

    I am so sorry to hear of this tragedy. My prayers are with you. Take Care!


  4. 4
    Bradford Loyd Says:

    My thoughts & prayers go out to the Tom Murphy family. It just goes to show that Life is precious and you must make each moment count. God Bless you all & may you all be drawn closer together in the untimely death of Tom Murphy.
    Brad Loyd

  5. 5
    Melody C. Duncan Says:

    Love and condolences and strenth to you.
    I am a transplant to Texas from Boulder.
    The trip through Telluride video was very enjoyable.
    The views in Colorado are fabulous. I am glad your family has so many wonderful memories.

  6. 6
    Ken Says:

    Sometimes God needs another good person and reaches out picks the best. Sadness can sometimes turn into happiness.
    God Bless the family and friends.

  7. 7
    Sue Says:

    I am truly sorry to hear about your tragic loss! May God give you the strength to get through these tough times. May he eventually bring peace to your heart.

  8. 8
    King Says:

    Where’s the heroism? I didn’t read anything heroic in this story. …She steered the car from the passenger side? That’s it? That’s what passes for heroism these days? I did that when I was a kid while my mom had to get sunglasses out of her purse. I guess I’m a hero. I’m probably a hero for tightening my shoe laces after noticing they’ve gone loose, too. And for giving directions that didn’t suck to lost passersby driving down the street.
    I see a lot of folks saying “My prayers are with you”, and “May God bless your family”, and other god drivel like that. But not one of them seems to want to own up to your god chucking a rock at Mr. Murphy’s head and killing him. Be sure to thank your god those little blessings, too.

  9. 9
    me Says:

    This is a terribly sad story and I feel for the family but King did put a pretty funny spin to it.

  10. 10
    Jessica Says:

    Wow, first you call yourself King, than you make those remarks! I guess your mother while teaching you to steer the car, forgot to remind you that if you have nothing nice to say, than don’t say anything at all. This family has suffered a terrible loss, you should be ashamed of yourself.

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