4 Gone 4 Ever: The McConnell Men
As told by Ginger Brengle, Amy Voelker’s cousin
In 1989, Amy Voelker married Elroy “Roy” McConnell. Roy McConnell (51) was a CPA, founder of iCFO, a triathlete, active in his church, and most importantly a family man. Together Roy and Amy raised three incredible sons: Elroy “Roy” McConnell III, Nathan McConnell, and Kelly McConnell.
Roy McConnell III (28) lived in Pineville, LA and was married to Sandie McConnell for 3 years. Together they had a 4-month-old son, Elroy McConnell IV. Roy III was a Sales Manager Trainee at JCPenny in New Orleans.
Nathan McConnell (24) lived in Orlando, FL and was married to Anais McConnell for 4 years. Together they had a 2-year-old daughter, Kayla Sophia. Nathan graduated from the FEAT program for electricians and was studying to obtain his journeyman’s license.
After a year of having an “empty nest,” Amy and Roy decided to hold a family reunion on Redington Beach. They chose to have the reunion on the last week of July in 2010 for several celebratory reasons. Nathan and his wife Anais would be celebrating their 4th wedding anniversary, Kelly would be celebrating his 19th birthday and it would also be the first time the brothers met their new nephew, Roy IV.
On the night of July 31, in honor of Kelly’s birthday, Roy and his three sons went to BayWalk Movie Theatre in downtown St. Petersburg to catch a late movie. On their way back to the beach rental, at approximately 12:46 a.m. on August, 1 2010, they were struck by a car traveling over 90 mph as they passed through the intersection of 22nd Ave. and 9th St., N. The impact drove Roy’s new Ford Fusion into a concrete light pole. All four McConnell men were killed instantly.
In the blink of an eye, Amy Voelker lost her husband and all three of her children. Roy III and Nathan’s young children are now fatherless. Their wives, Sandie and Anais, became widows before they turned 25. Kelly will never be able to graduate from college.
The 20-year-old drunk driver, also impaired by marijuana with a BAC of .154, also severely injured his cousin who was a passenger in the vehicle. His selfish decision to drink and drive resulted in a 44-year prison sentence and a lifetime of regret.
The McConnell’s family is on a mission to ensure that they did not die in vain. Amy’s mother, Patricia is the chair of the Walk Like MADD Committee in South Carolina. Amy chairs the Victim Tribute Committee with MADD Central Florida and serves on the Walk Like MADD Committee; and Amy’s cousin, Ginger Brengle works for MADD West Central Florida as a Program Specialist – working with parents and students across the region to ensure that no one ever loses their family in the blink of an eye.