The morning of October 16 started off like any other workday for the Stephens family.
Luling residents Toni Fisher Stephens and her husband Rocky Stephens, both 49, had climbed into their vehicle and left their Willowdale home just minutes earlier. While making a quick stop along Highway 90 to gas up at the local Shell Station in Luling, their vehicle was involved in an accident with an eighteen-wheeler.
Within seconds, both of their lives were quickly upended.
The impact from the crash was severe, and the couple had to be airlifted to University Hospital in New Orleans. Toni was treated for minor injuries, but given Rocky was seated on the side of the vehicle where their vehicle took the most impact, Rocky’s injuries were considered life-threatening.
“It resulted in significant trauma for Rocky,” his wife of 28 years said of the accident in a recent interview, around two weeks later. “He is on a ventilator and still unconscious.”
Rocky remains on a feeding tube at University Hospital in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where family members keep a vigilant watch over him, hoping for signs of improvement and recovery.
“It changes day to day,” Toni said of her husband’s current condition.
Toni Fisher Stephens is originally from St. Charles Parish, while her husband Rocky grew up in next door Lafourche Parish. The couple were married in 1995, and early on traveled from one coast to another within the United States, from North Carolina to Hawaii, on account of Rocky’s various assignments with the United States Marine Corps.
“He was in the Marine Corps for 10 years,” Toni Fisher Stephens said. “So, we traveled a bit before coming back home.”
Once Rocky retired from the Marines, the couple moved back to St. Charles Parish and built a home in Luling in 2008. Toni worked in local school systems for around two decades as a teacher. After his life in the military, Rocky began a new career as a residential and commercial project manager for a local construction firm, where Toni now works beside him.
He and his wife finished raising two daughters here locally, both of which are now grown and have left home to begin college and start careers.
Following the recent accident, Toni Fisher Stephens said the outpouring of support from relatives and friends has been tremendous.
“It’s just been overwhelming, the amount of hope and prayers that we’ve received from family and friends,” Stephens said once those close to them learned of the accident. “We have friends we hadn’t spoken to in maybe a couple of years who have called or come up here and offered to help in any way that they can, and family as well that live out of state.”
A family friend started a recent GoFundMe account for the Stephens family, who now face mounting medical bills and lost income following the accident.
For more information on the Stephens family’s GoFundMe account, or to donate, visit www.GoFundMe.com under the account titled “Support for the Stephens Family.”