BLOUNT COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A lineman’s family is left searching for answers after they said a sheriff deputy’s vehicle was involved in the accident that led to the death of 35-year-old Andrew Schwam.
The Blount County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a deputy was involved but that they did not hit Schwam. The sheriff’s office said it can’t comment while the investigation is ongoing with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency but hopes to release a statement and video in the upcoming week.
“I don’t know how I’m going to navigate life without him because that was my partner and my best friend,” says Schwam’s wife, Porsche Schwam.
Andrew Schwam’s family said it has an attorney looking into his death and trying to help find answers. The family said Schwam was working on a power line in Hayden on Saturday when a Blount County sheriff’s deputy allegedly drove by knocking up a cable from the road. The family said the cable shot up and threw Andrew Schwam into the air, crushing his skull when he landed.
“We were only together and married for three years, and you’re supposed to get 50-60 years with your partner,” Porsche Schwam said. “This isn’t something we ever thought would happen.”
Porsche Schwam said Saturday started like any other day, with him giving her a hug and kiss and telling her how much he loved her and the kids before heading out the door.
“I’m grateful that I did get to say goodbye and ‘I love you’ to him the day that he left,” Porsche Schwam said. “A lot of people do not get that, and I did, and it does help but it doesn’t bring him back. I just want someone to tell me why he got taken from us. But I know that no matter what answer we get, it’s not going to be good enough.”
Porsche Schwam said it takes everything she can do to wake up each morning with him not there and take care of their children like any other normal day. She’s left navigating her own heartbreak and shock while trying to explain to their children what happened to their dad.
“He was supposed to be the one to help me through and navigate these kinds of thing.” Porsche Schwam said. “When I didn’t have the answer, Andrew did. Now, I’m left having to have all the answers and I don’t even have them for myself.”
Andrew Schwam’s family said being a lineman was his favorite job he’d ever done, moving up the ladder quickly at Tri-State Utility Construction.
“He has never loved a job the way that he loved this one,” said Savannah Stonebrook, Andrew Schwam’s sister. “He was so proud of himself for the first time in his life and we were so proud of him.”
Schwam was a full organ and tissue donor. His family said they find solace knowing in life and death, he spent it helping other people.
“He will be saving the lives of other people, one of which happens to be my best friend’s father,” Stonebrook said. “That is so special that her family can have a longer, healthier time together because of that gift that he left.”
“I hope that one day I’m able to meet the people that receive these gifts and be able to hear Andrew’s heartbeat,” Porsche Schwam.
Porsche Schwam’s 5-year-old daughter was gifted a teddy bear from UAB’s Legacy of Hope with a recording of his heartbeat in the paw.
“Never, never in a million years would have imagined that this would happen,” Stonebrook said.
Stonebrook started a GoFundMe for Porsche Schwam and the four children, the oldest of which turns 18 on March 27.