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News story from the Asbury Park Press

Song foreshadows death of a son, 9

Published in the Asbury Park Press 10/07/98

By Cori Anne Natoli - Staff Writer

When Lance Stark wrote the song, "A Thousand Times Forever," he wrote about his worst nightmare, imagining the death of his first son.

Monday, the song lyrics became reality.

Stark's son Hyland, 9, died that day from head injuries he suffered in a car accident Sunday.

"I wrote about how I would feel if he died," said Stark, a Brick drummer and songwriter. "I always said if I ever lost him that I would lose it and that feeling's right there. It's the worst nightmare that I could ever imagine in my whole life and the song I wrote wasn't supposed to be real."

A week ago, Stark's band, Silent Witness, released a compact disc in Europe that included the song.

All I do is cry since you left my side. All I do is cry since you said goodbye.
Another time, another place might have made the difference
me giving you just a little more space. But in our own little world I
felt so secure and certainly sure, you and I would live forever.

Hyland Lance Stark, a fourth-grader and honor roll student at Drum Point School, died in his parent's arms at Jersey Shore Medical Center, Neptune, at about 6 p.m. Monday. He was admitted to the hospital in critical condition after a head-on collision at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on Drum Point Road, east of Cherry Quay Road.

I don't know why all the life's left my eyes and all I do is die
deep down inside. To be alone in a world without second chances is like drowning at sea a thousand times forever.

Last week, Hyland began listening to the song and singing it, Stark said.

"There's a piece of me that's just gone," he said. "It will be gone forever. A thousand times forever.

Stark expressed thanks to the hospital for allowing him and his wife Kimberly to be at the boy's side when he was dying. "I stayed in bed beside him with all the wires and tubes. We spent the last few hours alone with him. It was very important to do that."

Just gotta believe what could I have said? I just gotta believe there is nothing I could've said, could've changed your mind not to leave this world behind.

Hyland Stark's 3-year-old brother, Austin Jon, suffered serious injuries and remains at Jersey Shore in critical condition. He is expected to recover, the Starks said.

The Starks, who live on Laurel Avenue, have faced tragedy before. Hyland's mother, Gayle "Unique" Bognar Stark, died of cancer at age 31, when he was 3.

Stark also wrote a song on the same compact disc about her death. "Starri (his sister, 8) and Hyland were like two peas in a pod," Stark said, clearing his throat. "She said he was the best brother that anybody could ever have. She said Hyland didn't get to finish growing up yet. My heart sank when she said that."

The boys were passengers in a car driven by their uncle, Timmie Perry, Jr., 23, who sustained chest injuries. Perry was treated and released from the hospital that day, the Starks said.

Perry's car collided with another driven by Jean Baum, 67, of Brick. Authorities said Baum was westbound on Drum Point Road when her vehicle crossed the center line and struck Perry's eastbound car.

Baum applied the brakes and slid on the wet road, police said. Both vehicles came to rest near the eastbound shoulder.

The Starks stressed that they know Perry was not to blame. "Tim's like the big brother to the kids," Stark said. "He was always teaching Hyland sports. He's more to me like a son. We don't want him to feel guilty about this. It's not his fault."

The accident is under investigation by Brick traffic safety officers, including Patrolmen Kenneth Baenziger, Donald Ling and Robert Appello.

A funeral service will be held at 9 a.m. Friday at the Weatherhead Young Funeral Home, 885 Mantoloking Road, Brick. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow at the funeral home.

In our own way we've all got dues to pay but within myself all I can do everyday, everyday, I live and I die a thousand times forever.


Source: Asbury Park Press

Published: October 07, 1998

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