The last time Nelson Krueger saw his 4-year-old grandson alive was Thursday night.
Jack Stineman was playing tee-ball at the Sport 2 Sport complex, 5200 Clinton Parkway.
"They were all running around out there, and it looked more like they were playing tag," Krueger, of Lawrence, said.
After the game, Krueger remembers Jack challenging his father, David Stineman, to a foot race.
"He said, 'Come on, Dad, let's race,'" Krueger said. Father and son then took off.
"I'll hold on to that memory," Krueger said.
A little more than two days later, Jack Stineman died of multiple injuries suffered in a car accident. His mother, Jacquelyn Krueger Stineman, was in critical condition Monday night at Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan.
Shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday, the Chevrolet Suburban Jacquelyn Stineman was driving westbound on U.S. Highway 56 five miles west of Baldwin went left of center. She lost control of the vehicle, and the Suburban slid into a ditch and overturned several times.
"I think she swerved to avoid a deer and then overcorrected," Krueger said.
Somewhere there is a Good Samaritan who stopped to check the accident scene, Krueger said. A man rescued Jack Stineman from the vehicle, carried him out of the ditch and laid him down, Krueger said. Nobody knows who the man was.
"We'd sure like to find him and thank him for that," Krueger said.
The boy was taken by air ambulance to Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Mo. Rescue crews had to cut a hole in the vehicle to extricate Jacquelyn Stineman, and she was flown to KUMC.
"Everybody who helped out there that night we want to thank," Krueger said.
Jacquelyn Stineman was undergoing her second surgery Monday afternoon and at least one more operation was expected, Krueger said.
A private graveside service was planned for Jack Stineman. A public service will be later when his mother can attend, Krueger said.
"That's when she's going to need everyone's support," he said.
Jack Stineman loved the outdoors, Krueger said. "Just the night before he had been outside chasing squirrels."
Nelson Krueger is a lobbyist and Republican Party activist. His wife, Judy Krueger, grandmother to Jack Stineman, is Gov. Bill Graves' appointments secretary. The Kruegers are longtime Lawrence residents.
Jack Stineman attended Raintree Montessori School, and his presence there will be missed, director Lleanna McReynolds said. A psychiatrist will meet with parents of Jack Stineman's classmates tonight to help them discuss the boy's death with their children, McReynolds said.
"He was so full of life and always had a smile," McReynolds said.
The Stinemans greatly assisted the school in its recovery efforts after a fire destroyed the Montessori school building last year, McReynolds said.
"Now we're standing ready to help them as much as we can," she said.