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‘I know he would have forgiven him instantly’: Widow speaks about husband killed in alleged impaired driving crash

She said she had been with her husband for 20 years. Each had overcome different challenges and loved being with each other,.
A Rowan County woman tells us her husband would forgive the man accused of taking his life.
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 11:50 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2022 at 12:03 AM EST
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SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - The wife of a Salisbury man killed in an alleged impaired driving crash said her husband would have forgiven the driver who hit him.

The incident happened Wednesday, Jan. 19 on Highway 74 in Union County.

According to troopers from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Stanley Gumm Jr., a truck driver, had pulled over along the shoulder of the road because his tractor-trailer had broken down.

Loretta Gumm, Gumm Jr.’s wife, said her husband was picking up his hazard cones to get back on the road when he was hit by another driver.

Troopers say the driver, Daniel Ray Thompson, was traveling in a Toyota Camry. Gumm Jr. was killed after being hit by the vehicle. He was just 53 years old.

Troopers said Thompson was charged with death by vehicle and driving while impaired.

Loretta Gumm spoke to WBTV in an interview Thursday evening, speaking fondly of her late husband.

“Pure grace, pure favor, pure mercy. He didn’t just walk it. He talked it. He walked it. He lived it. He breathed it and he stood like a pillar,” explained Gumm.

She said she had been with her husband for 20 years. Each had overcome different challenges and loved being with each other, according to Gumm.

“He loved to explore. He loved nature. He loved sunsets and sunrises and showing me things that I had never seen because I was a small-town girl and he was a city boy,” said the Salisbury widow.

When asked about the deadly collision, Gumm said her husband would forgive the driver who hit him, explaining that her husband had been charged for driving while intoxicated several years ago.

“My husband would say, ‘you know that could have been me that killed somebody driving home drunk’. I know he would have forgiven him instantly because that’s who my husband was,” explained Loretta Gumm.

While her husband may have had forgiveness in his heart, Gumm said she still wants Thompson to have his day in court.

“I hope he takes this moment and he sits in it and he marinates in it and he becomes half the husband that I had, half the man that I had, half the father that my children had,” she elaborated.

When asked about driving under the influence, Gumm responded, “We gotta stop it and the laws need to be stricter.”

She said she still has her husband and all the love he poured into her. Gumm said she plans to be in court whenever Thompson faces a judge.

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