Mother: Man killed in ATV crash 'was my miracle baby'

Daniel Sommise, 25, lived 'full throttle' from birth until death, his mom says

As loved ones stopped by Friday to place a cross at the site of a deadly ATV crash, the mother of the 25-year-old Jacksonville man killed in the crash shared how she will remember her son.

Daniel Sommise lived "full throttle" from the time he was born until the time he died, said Liza Kazmierczak, his mother.

"He was my miracle baby," she told News4Jax. "I wasn't supposed to have kids." 

But along came Sommise. 

"Nothing scared him," Kazmierczak said. "Nothing stopped him."

She said Sommise, her eldest son, was as handy as he was handsome. 

"If I needed something it was, 'I got you, Mom,'" Kazmierczak said. "That is the one thing that just keeps playing over and over in my head --  'I got you, Mom.'" 

Photos show Daniel Sommise as a young boy and as a young man.
Photos show Daniel Sommise as a young boy and as a young man.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Sommise and a 21-year-old Middleburg man were riding an ATV south on Beecher Lane in Orange Park Tuesday night when the vehicle flipped at Crossing Boulevard.

Both men were thrown from the ATV, and Sommise died from his injuries at the scene, troopers said.

"I wake up, you know, you have that moment when you first wake up, 'OK. What do I have to do today?'" Kazmierczak said. "And then it hits you all over again."

Reality sinks in for her and all that remains are memories.

"I found a message on my phone from my son that says, 'Ma, call me. I love you,'" Sommise's mother said.

It's messages like that one that Kazmierczak said she will cherish and play for her 3-year-old grandson, Sommise's only child. 

"He heard the message and he said, 'I love you, Daddy,'" Kazmierczak said.

She said burying a child is a living nightmare.  

"My reason for being on Earth is my kids. That’s it," Kazmierczak said. "Not good with the letting go part."

Lisa Kazmierczak is living a mother's worst nightmare.
Lisa Kazmierczak is living a mother's worst nightmare.

Sommise's friends told News4Jax that his presence will be missed dearly.

"He had so much southern hospitality and respect that he was just somebody that no matter how much you wanted to be mad, or no matter what he did you couldn’t," said longtime friend Aerial Shene. "He was the chaos you needed in life."

Kris Hunt said he and Sommise had been friends since second grade.  

"It all started over a Matchbox car," Hunt said. "Never would have thought from second grade and a Matchbox car would have made a bond so strong." 

Another friend, Maxx Caldrin, agreed with Sommise's mother, saying he was very handy and able to fix many things. 

"You couldn’t pull up to his house with a car broken. You couldn’t have something wrong with your house. He fixed everything," Caldrin said. "He loved and cared about everybody."

Troopers told News4Jax on Friday afternoon that they're still piecing together the details of Tuesday's crash.

The other man on the ATV was seriously injured and was taken to Orange Park Medical Center. It's unclear which of the men was driving the ATV at the time or why the vehicle overturned.

Sommise's loved ones have set up a GoFundMe account.

Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at Frazier Funeral Home at 8168 Normandy Blvd. The service will begin at 10 a.m. Monday at Old Plank Road Baptist Church at 8964 Old Plank Road, with interment following at Jacksonville Memory Gardens at 111 Blanding Blvd.

"Hug your babies. Tomorrow is not promised," sobbed Kazmierczak.

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