On June 14, 2011 I got the call that all mothers fear. It was a beautiful day and I was at my friend’s house when my cell phone rang. A police officer told me that Max had a car accident and he had died. My whole world changed in that moment.
Nothing about my life is the same. There’s nothing that could be worse. But, I remember the police officer, who was at my home looking for me, telling me that all of my doors at the house were open and the animals were out.
Max was extremely responsible and conscientious, and I told him that something must have happened. But all I cared about was that my Max was gone.
My friend drove me to the hospital. The officer was in the ER, outside of Max’s ER room. He told me that Max had driven 100 miles an hour into a house. In the moment, I knew that my instincts were right, something had happened. Max would never drive 100 miles and hour and fly 80 feet through the air into someone’s home.
When I went into the ER room, I saw my lifeless son. He still had a breathing tube. They said they couldn’t remove it yet, for some reason. It didn’t feel like it was Max. He was already far gone.
I didn’t feel his spirit.It wasn’t him. All the beauty was gone. I didn’t want to touch him because he was already hard. It wasn’t Max. I didn’t want to look at him because it was too painful. Family and friends arrived at the hospital. I was in shock, but I remember everything.
When my oldest son, Justin, arrived, we told him that Max had died. He collapsed.
My heart broke for him, Colin, my other son, myself and everyone that was there crying and in pain. Soon there after, Justin told me that Max had called him and said “I smoked that legal stuff. My heart is pounding and I’m having a panic attack.” I had no idea what that “legal stuff” was and didn’t care at the moment. Later that night, at the house, I told some friends what Max had told Justin and one of the friends said “Oh my God, I know what it is.”
She told us a story about how her and a friend were sitting around her house when her teenager came home with a few friends. They said “Try this stuff. It’s legal and safe. It’s like hooka. You can buy it in the stores.” Her friend, who thought that it must be safe because it’s legal, took one hit and started to hallucinate. She thought that the teenagers turned into aliens. My friend had to take care of her for hours until she came back to reality.
This is what I found out later: My beautiful son, Max Dobner, went to the Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, IL with his friend. They saw a product called iAroma and had a conversation about how it must be safer than marijuana because it was legal and marijuana was illegal. They smoked the product and the friend dropped Max off.
Fifteen minutes later, Max called Justin. He then, apparently, got into his car and drive like heck. The police started getting calls that Max was driving at speeds approaching 100 miles/hr. For some reason, we’ll never know, he drove down Mooseheart Road toward Lake Street. When Mooseheart Road came to an end, Max never applied his brake.
His car flew 80 feet into a house and landed in a baby’s room. The baby’s parents had just taken the baby out of the crib and were in the backyard. They heard and explosion. Max’s car sideswiped a tree about 15 feet in the air, then continued into the baby’s room. The engine flew out of the car and through the house, doing incredible damage. The family was lucky to be alive.
Max was a peaceful, loving person who respected everyone and their property. I always said, “He never hurt a fly. He never hurt a fly’s feelings”. He would have been horrified to know that he had damaged someone’s home and almost killed a baby. It hurts me to know that my beautiful son, who was so careful to lead his life with dignity and grace, died in such a violent manner.
It isn’t fair and I’m not taking it laying down. I will fight for my son with everything that I have. He didn’t deserve it. He deserved the best of the best because that’s what he was.
When I found out that people were dying from synthetic marijuana and kids thought it was safe, it became my mission to fight the greedy bastards that have targeted our kids to make a buck. The greedy creep that manufactured iAroma, which Max smoked, was on Youtube promoting his product as the “strongest product on the market.”
Yet in another video, he defends the industry by saying that the reason for the “hospitalizations and suicides” (he puts his finger to his head, like a gun) is because some of the makers are just “pouring” the chemicals on and making them too strong. So, he knew that people were dying and didn’t care. He also promoted his product as being the “strongest on the market” knowing that this was causing people to commit suicide and other horrible side effects. He killed my son.
When I hear about another death, addiction, or horrible experience, usually described as the “worst experience” of their lives, it fuels me to fight harder. We don’t wipe these drugs from the earth, but I an tell you that I will do everything in my power to make sure that innocent people, like Max, can’t go to the store and buy “poison sprayed on leaves.” And then, when we have reached that goal, we will address the issues that cause our young people to turn to drugs to numb themselves from reality.
To the Maximus Foundation