Wow- where to begin. This section will be a work in progress as we look back on his short 14 years that Connor had with us.
I will start with his accident and work backwards at this point.
Connor passed away in Birmingham Alabama on September 21, 2007. He was prepping for the Red Bull Rookies Cup tryouts the following weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. He was out on his CRF450 getting some sight-in laps under his belt while I was getting his RS125 ready to go. He was out for his second session when, as I understand, Connor sat up on the bike coming down the straight between turns 8A and 9. Before the entrance to T-9, Connor raised his left arm to signal he was slowing down and when he looked over his left should to clear before he entered T-9, he veered RIGHT off the track and impacted the ARMCO barrier. He crashed right near a waiting ambulance crew who treated him until a Life Flight could arrive. Connor was airlifted out to Birmingham Childrens Hospital which is a Level-1 Pediatric Trauma treatment facility. Connor fought for 6 hours, which was enough time for his mom to fly down and kiss him goodbye before he passed. Connor had turned 14 on June 1st and left behind his two sisters Brittanie and Emily. He was one of the most focused, talented young racers in the country. He was also one of the most compassionate, humble, funny, kids around. He picked on his sisters as brothers should:) and he had MANY friends of all ages and all walks of life. I can't wait to see all the different stories that will get posted in the Guestbook section!....
More to come. abCde
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The Early Years
CONNOR THE SCREAMER:
Connor Timothy LaFrance was born June 14, 1993 in Nashua New Hampshire. He was a big bundle of energy from the day he was born. He was born kicking and screaming at 9lbs 6oz. His umbilical was nicked on delivery and Connor proceeded to cover the entire room in blood. He covered the ceiling, everyone in the delivery room and all his paperwork to document his birth. We all had to change and we moved rooms so they could clean up. He sure made his entrance into this world known! He started screaming immediately and didnt stop till he was two!! Yes, Connor had a touch of "the colic". He had a bright red birthmark on his forehead that would pulse when he cried and boy could did he have a set of lungs!! :) He was not happy as a baby unless he was being held. In stark contrast to big sister Brittanie, who would entertain herself for hours in her playpen, Connor would scream the second you put him down. He would only settle down when you picked him back up and apologized to him. He was a big pain at times and he forced me at a very young age to learn patience. The time that Andrea and I recall very distinctly, was a phone call that she recieved from me while she was at work. She worked days as a Manager at GapKids and I worked at night cleaning planes for USAir and going to night school. This worked out well as we didnt have to have daycare as I watched Brittanie and Connor during the day and Andrea took over at night. Anyhow, back to the phone call.......it went something like this:
"Hey hon, you were susposed to get out of work at 5 and its now 5:30 and you are still there!" "Yes, I am working a bit late today"
"Well you have 15 minutes to come home or I am throwing Connor out the window, I have had enough of his crying today!"
"Yes dear, I will be right home!"
Andrea said I sounded like I might actually do it! We lived on the second floor in an apartment house, so she hurried home to take over duties and give me a break. Love that BOY!
CONNOR THE LEADER:
Connor was OBSESSED with being first in everything he did when he was a boy. (actually his whole life) At the school bus getting on in the morning, Connor had to be the first one on the bus. Ladies first, or upperclassmen first didnt apply to Connor! We got a call home from his first grade teacher, I forget her name, which is good because she was not a proper fit with Connor and since she was **like 100** she was determined to make Connor //CONFORM// !!
Anyhow, we get a phone call from Mrs Grumpy Pants and she proceeds to tell us we need to talk to Connor about his determination to be first in every line all day at school. Connor didnt care if it was the lunch line, recess line or library line, Connor was going to be First! Mrs. GP didnt know how to get through to Connor, since he marched to his own drummer, so she would call us once a week about something. Well in the end Connor won the fight but lost the battle. Mrs. GP reccomended that he repeat 1st Grade since he was having a hard time conforming to school rules. I am sure that surprises everyone!!:) Love that BOY!
CONNOR THE ATHLETE:
Connors' desire to be "the Leader", flowed over to his athletics. He set the fastest time for Geyser Road Elementary School in running. When he found out that the school record had been held previously by a young boy who had passed away, Connor told Coach Schmidt that he didnt want the young mans name taken down. Connor was in 5th grade at the time and shows you a bit of insight into his caring side. Connor was truly a sensitive, compassionate boy- must have got that trait from Andrea! :)
Connor was fire on skates. He would be the fastest kid on the ice and when he was in Mites, he could get lots of break-a-ways, but his stick handling wasnt on the same level as his speed, so he frequently would race all the way to the goalie with the puck only to miss the shot. Coach Regan would say that once his stick handling improved a bit, Connor would be unstoppable. Connor never stopped trying and his skills improved greatly, thanks to all the coaching he had growing up in Saratoga Youth Hockey.
Connors favorite form of fun was riding bikes. He was riding a 2 wheeler at age 3 and never looked back. He taught his friend Ethan Roebuck how to ride a bike when Connor was 5 and Ethan was 7! Connor spent the day before his 9th birthday in the Emergency Room in Saratoga from going over his handlebars racing down "Dead Mans Hill". His helmet cut into his forehead and peeled back his eyebrow which required some 20-odd stiches to close up. He got a kayak from us that year and was out on it the next day with a very swollen face.
Another memorable story was from Kelly Bloem. She recalled driving by our house and there was Connor with his friend Macauley Kinnamon, jumping bikes between two skateboard ramps. Nothing out of the ordinary, except that the ramps were 20 feet apart! She ran home and grabbed her camera and took some great shots of Connor jumping. A couple of days later, we are at a neighborhood picnic and noticed Connors friend Stephen Rimmer all bandaged up and we asked what happened. His reply- " Well Mr. LaFrance, I tried to jump Connors jumps and didnt make it". We were in town at the time and missed all the fun! Love that BOY!