Mother misses boat crash victim's voice

2 killed Sunday night when boat struck dock in St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – After losing her husband and daughter, Margarett Hall says her son Chris was her rock.

But now she no longer has him.

He was a truck driver and called his mom every morning from the road.

"I would be getting out of the bed and the phone would be ringing," Hall said. "It would be him and it was always the same expression: 'Good morning, just calling to check in with you and tell you I love you.'"

Those phone calls are what she misses most.

"It is most upsetting not to have those phone calls in the morning," Hall said. "Do you realize when Monday morning comes and usually he's on the road, no phone call?"

Alicia and Franklin Babb
Alicia and Franklin Babb

Pictured, right:
Alicia and Franklin Babb

Chris Hall spent his whole life in the nation's oldest city, graduating from St. Augustine High School and marrying his high school sweetheart. Even after they divorced, they remained the best of friends.

"It was unconditional, it was an unconditional friendship, and I think even in the end, we had an unconditional love for one another. I think we did still care for one another," said Gwen Pierce, Chris' best friend.

Chris Hall was out fishing Sunday with his friend Frank Babb, who went by Tim, and Babb's wife, Alicia, when at about 10 p.m., investigators say, their boat slammed into a dock connected to a home.

It's unclear why they hit the dock or exactly where they were coming from. They were going north toward the Bridge of Lions to the Vilano Beach Boat Ramp. The docks in the area are all different lenghts, but one on the end sticks out farther. Neighbors say there were lights on it, and when the boaters hit it, the lights went out.

It was a full moon and very high tide when they rode past every dock in the Pelican Reef community and, for whatever reason, hit the last one, killing Frank Babb and Chris Hall.

Hall loved wildlife, photography and fishing.

"I will always remember Chris for his kindness, his compassion, his humor," Pierce said.

"One of his favorite sayings is, 'Ma, I can't believe they're paying me to sightsee,'" Margarett Hall said. "And he enjoyed the scenery and he enjoyed the driving, and it just cut him loose and let him free and he was able to be free."

A viewing for Chris Hall will be held from 6-8 p.m. Friday at the St. Johns Family Funeral Home on State Road 207. His funeral is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

A memorial service for Babb will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at McDowell Baptist Church.