Gone too soonPublished 11:44pm Friday, August 23, 2013
A local family is mourning the loss of a young family member for the third time in as many years, after 30-year-old Daniel Scott Nelson died Wednesday in a local hospital from injuries he sustained in an ATV accident a week ago.
Daniel is the third member of the Nelson family to pass away rather suddenly since 2011, when his stepbrother, Lance Cpl. Travis M. Nelson, was killed on Aug. 18 in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. Travis, who had just turned 19 on Aug. 5, 2011, had been deployed for five weeks as an infantry rifleman with the First Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., at the time of his death. He would have turned 21 this year.
The father of both men, Scott Nelson, was diagnosed with cancer in May 2011 — just eight months after his son’s death in Afghanistan. Nelson, 50, died Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, thirteen months after his son’s death. Scott was buried next to his son in Oak Hill Cemetery in Atmore.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol incident report, Daniel Nelson and another individual, Meggan Layne Percey, 28, were traveling northbound on Cox Road last Saturday at approximately 1:26 a.m., when Nelson lost control of the ATV, causing the vehicle to overturn several times. According to the report, Nelson was ejected and died from his injuries Wednesday at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola.
A newly constructed park, located on Highway 4 in Bratt, next door to where Lance Cpl. Nelson grew up, was named and dedicated the “Lance Cpl. Travis Michael Nelson Park” on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011. The Nelson family and the county worked together to place a memorial in the park to honor and remember Lance Cpl. Nelson’s life and sacrifice. Scott Nelson tended the memorial after its placement, but was unable to continue his work following his cancer diagnosis in May 2011.
Daniel Nelson, who remained in Bratt following his father’s death, continued to stand by his stepmother’s side, helping her in any way he could, according to family friends. Daniel was a 2001 graduate of Northview High School and was attending classes at Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton.
Daniel is survived by his wife, Melissa Royster Nelson; three children, Quinton, 10, Amber, 6 and Caitlin, 4; his mother, Linda McGhee of Brewton; his stepmother, Beckie Nelson of Bratt; two sisters, Jenna Nelson (Kevin) McCall of Brewton and Anna Nelson of Bratt; and his grandmothers, Louise Nelson of Brewton, Martha Nell Updike of Brewton and Ann Sanspree of Atmore.
Arrangements have not been finalized, but Petty-Eastside Funeral Home will be in charge of all arrangements.