Shattered One Sunday, Near Death (Matt Grice story)
A sprawling, hard blue Oklahoma sky served as a nice tableau for a Sunday outing. It was one of those days when the billowy white clouds seemed to radiate calm. They did for Caroline Grice. About the only obstacle she had was wading through the labyrinth of her daughters’ toys and the nagging questions that kept bounding inside her head: “Where is he? What’s taking him so long?” She hid her mounting agitation from the girls. She knew by now the fine line to walk, especially when her husband, Matt Grice, was in training mode for a fight. How cagey he could get as the date neared.
Anxiety grew. It was taking too long. This delay from the gym was a little unusual. Grice knew he had to be back at a certain time, so the family could visit his mother and enjoy the afternoon. Caroline even remembers expressing to the kids, “Damn, your dad is taking a long time. What is he doing?”
That is when the call came from his father. Out spilled five words no one wants to hear: “Matt was in an accident.” The words that followed -- “and he’s in pretty bad shape” -- were even more concerning. Phrases like that freeze you. They throw you into a surreal, spinning world where a different reality is happening, a reality that is hard to grasp; and just like that, a perfect Sunday is shattered, and the world Grice, Caroline and their daughters had would never be the same.
On Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, Grice and some friends were sitting in a white Jeep Wrangler at a red light when they were plowed from behind by a driver going 65 miles per hour. The accident was near-fatal, reducing Grice, a man who thought of himself as invincible, to a man who was suddenly dependent on others to shuffle his feet and cut his food.
“Matt had two jobs; he would train for his fights, and he was a police officer in Oklahoma City, so he was a busy man and he had to go back to work that Sunday night,” Caroline said, “but before he did, we wanted to spend some time together with his family. I remember going into the girls’ bedroom, pacing back and forth, and I honestly used to leave Matt alone when he was training for a fight. Then I get this call telling me what happened. We live in a small town, and the calls started trickling in; and then you start to hear more details, like the car was completely smashed and they had to rip the Jeep apart to get Matt out before it blew up.
I know what you're thinking, but it's actually well-written for a Sherdog article since Santoliquito wrote it.