Michelle Dean is left only with photos and loving memories of her husband, 58-year-old Brian.
He had been in Costa Rica while Michelle was in Austin, working on selling their house.
She was going to join him. “Brian could put a smile on anybody's face, and I've never seen him happier than I've seen him in Costa Rica,” said Dean.
Things were going great in the family’s life until she got an unexpected call from a family friend. He told her Brian had died. “I called him a liar and screamed at him for about 15 minutes, even though I know he wasn't." Authorities told her that Brian crashed his car down a ravine.
“It was a 50 feet drop and he was avoiding a boulder in the road. He might’ve tried to miss the boulder. There's literally no give at all, there's the road and there's the edge. You sneeze and you're done for. He didn't go down that far, which is why he was able to make it up to the street,” said Dean.
He crawled with all his strength to the side of the road.
“A motorcycle dude saw him and called 9-1-1 and said there is a man who needs help,” said Dean.
Michelle said with a punctured lung and broken ribs, her husband laid on the side of the road waiting for help. “He called at 6:15 and they didn't come and get him until 6 the next morning. What my friend figured out is that probably he was tired and disoriented and hoping someone would come and laid down and maybe drowned in blood from his punctured lung. That's what the autopsy said,” said Dean.
Their 21-year-old daughter Kevin, a Westwood High School grad, believes something good can come from her father's untimely death. “It was all really random and I had just talked to my dad a day before so it didn't feel real. If we can prevent something from happening to someone else's family, he would want to make sure that happens,” said Kevin.
An investigation was launched and Michelle is keeping in touch with the U.S. Embassy.
She hopes this doesn't happen to another American.
“He didn't deserve that and he didn't deserve to die alone,” said Michelle.