Fatal crash victim saved girlfriend's life by swerving his car

October 4, 2011

When a pickup truck barreled into his lane on Highway 94 on Saturday, the last thing Chris Phillips did in life was swerve his car. The truck, aimed at his girlfriend Deb Mason in the passenger seat, struck his side instead.

He was killed.

“He was an example of how every man should love a woman and how a woman should be loved,” Mason said Tuesday. “I had him my life for a whole year. Most people don’t get that kind of love in a minute.”

Phillips, his 19-year-old son Shane Phillips and Mason were driving back to Colorado Springs on Saturday after visiting family his in Tulsa, Okla. According to the Colorado State Patrol, Phillips’ 2002 jaguar was traveling west on Highway 94 east of Ellicott when a GMC pickup driven by 31-year-old Jeremy Petty of Calhan crossed the highway to turn onto Antelope Drive.

Mason and Petty received only minor injuries from the crash. Shane Phillips had serious injuries but is recovering in the hospital, Mason said.

Also killed in the crash were the couple’s two dogs: a bull mastiff named Tyson and a Siberian husky named Willow.

“Chris adored those dogs,” Mason said.

She said Chris was a kind and sensitive man and a great father to his son and daughter Jocelyn Fowler. He was also a great musician and often frequented open mic nights in Colorado Springs.

Just before he died, he was happy. He had just visited his family and got to tell his father, who had recently had a stroke, how much he loved him.

“He was happy because he got to see everyone in his family and hug them and say he loved them,” Mason said. “He got to say words that people don’t often get to say to their fathers before they died. So he had no regrets.”

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