I was working at Yellow Cab Co in downtown Santa Cruz when the earthquake hit. It seemed to go on forever. I was making sure all in my building were safe. I was checking in with all my drivers to make sure they were too. I had my husband go a few blocks away to pick up our two daughters and make sure they were safe. I then started trying to check in with my family. It was close to impossible to do that but I finally succeeded.
The only person I couldn’t get in contact with was my brother who at the time worked at The Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Co. I had heard that three people were trapped in the building. I walked across our parking lot to the fire department to see if I could get any info..only that three people were trapped. I knew in my heart one of them was my brother. He would have been trying to make sure we all were ok and accounted for but none of us had heard anything.
My mom and dad and husband and children were now with me at the Cab Co. I got a relief worker and we all left. We drove a few blocks to the back side of the Roasting Co and it was already very dark and so eerie downtown. When we arrived at the Roasting Co my mom and I walked up to a crowd all sitting on the ground hugging and crying. I said “Has anyone seen Shawn?” It got very quiet and the owner of the Coffee Roasting Co stood up along with her manager and asked who we were. I said his sister and mother. The owner said “I can’t do this” and started crying and the manager said he is at County. At the time there was a community hospital in town and we assumed that is what they were saying.
At this time everyone was looking at us crying…the manager said..no..the county morgue…I was stunned…numb…I knew I had to take care of my mother who now was hysterical crying and slumped over on the ground. The crowd was still there as they were waiting for Robin Ortiz…unfortunately she passed away also. Shawn’s girlfriend Brittany Marquez was also trapped but pulled to safety alive. The days that followed were surreal and heartbreaking.
SHAWN ALAN McCORMICK. BORN AUG 19TH 1968 DIED OCTOBER 17TH 1989. 21 years old.
Mother … Ethel Harrison
Stepfather … James Harrison
Father … Roy B McCormick
Sisters … Melinda McCormick, Terri Griswold
Daughter … Amber McCormick
By Terri Griswold