New Smyrna Beach cop whose boy was killed in car crash understands dad's anguish in son's Disney gator death

 
Headline Surfer® photo illustration /  NSBPD's Mark Severance with his wife, Denise (right),along with their son, Cody, killed in a 1988 car accident. Severance reflects on Father's Day as it relates to the turmoil on this special day of a total stranger, Matt Graces of Nebraska, whose son, Lane, was killed by a gator at a Disney Resort five nights earlier.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- When it comes to policing, few are as mentally and physically tough as Mark Severance, a patrol sergeant in the New Smyrna Beach police force and a former Marine.

Severance can relate to the horror and grief felt by the Nebraska dad of the little boy killed by an alligator Tuesday night at a posh Disney resort near the water's edge. After all, today is Father's Day.

In Severance's case, the oldest of his two sons was born on Father's Day. And that same son's life was cut short, too, And though, Severance's persaonal hell occurred 28 years ago, it stays with him to this day.

And so Severance had no hesitation in sharing his thouughts on tragic cicumstances and how one ccomes to grips with them in the moment and longterm.

"When I learned of the incident where the alligator took the boy, my heart sank because I, too, know the pain of such a loss," Severance said. "In 1988, I lost my 22 \-month-old son in a tragic car accident. It's unimaginable the feeling or loss and helplessness this family from Nebraska is experiencing. My heart goes out to them. There are no words to console -- just the love and support of community, family and friends. May God give them His peace and understanding."

"When I learned of the incident where the alligator took the boy, my heart sank because I, too, know the pain of such a loss," Severance said. "In 1988, I lost my 22 \-month-old son in a tragic car accident. It's unimaginable the feeling or loss and helplessness this family from Nebraska is experiencing. My heart goes out to them. There are no words to console -- just the love and support of community, family and friends. May God give them His peace and understanding."

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Posted Sun, 2016-06-19 07:18
 
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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area in Central Florida, via HeadlineSurfer.com. Specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with dozens of journalism-industry awards in print & digital mediums. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's pursuing a Master of Arts degree in New Media/Journalism (graduation in March 2018). Frederick earned his BA in Political Science/Public Admin. (concentration in Writing) from Central Connecticut State University, in 1984, where he recieved the President's Citation for "academic excellence & outstanding campus/community service." Prior to myriad duties as publisher/award-winning journalist of Headline Surfer, 2008-present; Frederick was city hall reporter for the Palatka (FL) Daily News, 2007-2008; city editor of the Taunton (MA) Daily Gazette, 2005-2006; cops & courts/legal affairs writer for the Daytona Beach News-Journal, 1996-2004; and cops & courts reporter for the Rockland (NY) Journal-News/Gannett Suburban Newspapers, 1989-1996.