Saturday, April 21, 2018
News Roundup

Robby Haines beat drugs, but sadly loses his life

LUTZ — Robby Haines had turned his life around. His struggles with drugs were behind him, and he was looking toward the future.

"He was doing very well," said his mother, Nancy Haines. "He met a girl. He was talking about going back to school. I had my son back."

But on Nov. 15, Mr. Haines was riding his bicycle down Livingston Avenue, just a couple of blocks from the Lutz home he shared with his mother, when he was struck by a car. After a few days on life support, doctors at St. Joseph's Hospital determined there was no hope. Mr. Haines died Nov. 19. He was just 10 days shy of his 28th birthday.

He had epilepsy, so his life had never been typical. His condition made it difficult for him to hold a job, and prevented him from driving a car.

"He got a job at Taco Bell but he had a seizure while he was at work," his mother said. "You have to be seizure-free for six months to even apply for a driver's license, and he never even made that. Sometimes he would have several seizures a month."

Medication helped but didn't prevent his grand mal seizures, Nancy Haines said.

He tried his best to live a normal life. He graduated from Land O'Lakes High School and even played sports there. He took occasional work with a landscaping company, but his epilepsy made work difficult because he couldn't safely operate some machinery.

Still, with the help of his parents, he led a contented life and had a generally positive outlook.

That changed five years ago when his father died after contracting an infection from a wound.

"His father was his best friend," Nancy Haines said. "Robby was never the same after that."

Robby Haines started hanging around with a different set of people and started doing hard drugs. His drug use got so bad that his mother had him committed under the Marchman Act, a state law that allows for involuntary assessment or treatment of addicts. Mr. Haines spent six months at an in-patient recovery center. He came home about 10 months ago.

"He came out a wonderful boy," his mother said.

Friends also noticed the change in Mr. Haines.

"Robby was a young man who lived much of his youth in turmoil, family friend Justin Stock wrote on his own Facebook page. "No matter the circumstance, Nancy has always stood by her son with unwavering faith. In recent time, that faith seemed to have paid dividends as Robby had turned over a new leaf and was finally on the straight and narrow."

The day of the crash, some witnesses reported that Mr. Haines had tried to make a U-turn and steered into oncoming traffic. His family has talked to other witnesses and believes that isn't exactly correct.

"He rode his bicycle on that same path on a daily basis," said his sister, L'Erin Haines. "He wouldn't have just made a U-turn. Based on what we've heard, we're virtually certain he had a seizure. When he had a seizure, he would lean to the left or right."

A neighbor passed the scene shortly afterward and recognized Mr. Haines' bicycle lying in the street. By the time Nancy Haines got there, her son had been taken to the hospital. A police officer said he couldn't give her any information about his condition.

That gave her a bad feeling, she said, but it wasn't until later that she imagined the worst.

"It was when they had me sign the do-not-resuscitate papers," Nancy Haines said. "That's when I knew. I thought, 'That's my son. That's my son. That's my baby.' "

Marty Clear writes life stories about area residents who have recently passed away. He can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Lightning-Devils: How the NHLís top offense went on the defensive

Lightning-Devils: How the NHLís top offense went on the defensive

TAMPA — It was a couple of days after the Lightning beat the Bruins at home late in the regular season when associate coach Rick Bowness talked about how the defensive effort used in that shutout victory was the one the Lightning would need in ...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Rays will go forth with four starters

Rays will go forth with four starters

ST. PETERSBURG — Three weeks was enough for the Rays to officially ditch their three-man rotation plan.Starting Sunday, they will go forth with Yonny Chirinos as their fourth starter.Which is a five-star idea.The flaws in the three-man plan ...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Rookie? Lightning D Mikhail Sergachevís playing like a seasoned pro

Rookie? Lightning D Mikhail Sergachevís playing like a seasoned pro

TAMPA — Pardon Mikhail Sergachev if he isn't so good at one of hockey's greatest traditions. After all, growing a Stanley Cup playoff beard isn't easy when you're still just a teenager.As he stood in the Lightning locker room Saturday evening w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bayís clinching 3-1 victory in Game 3

Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bayís clinching 3-1 victory in Game 3

TAMPA — Closers.That's what the Lightning looked like as it closed out the New Jersey Devils in five games with a 3-1 win Saturday.Nikita Kucherov's star power blazed again, the defense controlled the game and not even Jersey goaltend...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning stays patient, even through 0-for-5 power-play drought

Lightning stays patient, even through 0-for-5 power-play drought

TAMPA — The Lightning so dominated the second period Saturday that the Devils had more penalties (five) than shots on goal (four), and yet Tampa Bay was unable to build on a 1-0 lead as they sought to clinch the opening-round series.Nowhere was...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Nikita Kucherovís goal sets Lightning playoff series scoring record

Nikita Kucherovís goal sets Lightning playoff series scoring record

TAMPA — After clinging to a 1-0 lead for more than two periods Saturday, the Lightning got a long-awaited cushion — and ultimately the winning goal — when Nikita Kucherov scored with 7:33 left in the final period of a 3-1 victo...
Updated: 2 hours ago
New Port Richey Woman dies in single-car crash on SR 580

New Port Richey Woman dies in single-car crash on SR 580

A 49-year-old woman died early Saturday in a single-car crash on State Road 580.Kristin Carlin, of New Port Richey, was driving in the eastbound lanes of SR 580 when she failed to round a curve and veered off the road near Charles Avenue, a Clearwate...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning wins 3-1, advances to the semifinals

Lightning wins 3-1, advances to the semifinals

TAMPA — The Lightning closed out its quarterfinal series against the Devils with a suffocating defensive effort.The Devils finally solved Andrei Vasilevskiy in the waning moments with goalie Cory Schneider on the bench and the Devils skati...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Shaquem Griffin: ĎIím not just a feel-good storyí

Shaquem Griffin: ĎIím not just a feel-good storyí

TAMPA — Shaquem Griffin wakes up knowing each day will be better than the last and barely able to wait until tomorrow."It's just a whirlwind,'' Griffin said.On Thursday, he will walk the red carpet with his family, including his twin brother, S...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Man with multiple gun arrests now accused of fatally shooting Durant High football player

Man with multiple gun arrests now accused of fatally shooting Durant High football player

The first time deputies arrested Samuel Morrissey Jr., he faced charges of possession of marijuana and carrying a concealed firearm. He plead no contest in September, and the judge gave him a break by withholding adjudication. Ten days later, the 20-...
Updated: 4 hours ago