‘She was the perfect mom’: Rutherford Co. man remembers fiance and unborn child killed in crash

Courtesy of Jessica McAbee

RUTHERFORD Co., N.C. (WSPA) — “This is the heartbeat of Paisley Rose,” Gerald Swigert said as he held his and his late fiance’s teddy bear.

The “thump-thump” noise that played from the bear was the sound of his unborn child’s heart. The couple had gotten her 3-D ultrasound done a week earlier, and taken the bear home as a memento.

“It will never leave my arms,” Swigert told 7 News on Tuesday. “It’ll always be with me.”

Just hours before sitting down with WSPA, Swigert learned that his pregnant fiancee, Theresa Ravan, and her unborn child Paisley Rose were killed in a car accident after her vehicle went off into an embankment on Jack McKinney Road in Rutherford County.

According to troopers, the accident happened around 7:15 a.m. Tuesday near the South Carolina state line. The vehicle reportedly flipped and Ravan, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected.

Ice could have contributed to the crash, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.

Courtesy of Jessica McAbee

Swigert explained that his fiance was driving home from a doctor’s appointment when it happened.

When she didn’t answer his phone calls, he got worried and went to look for her.

“Me and her two little girls went out looking for her because we knew something was wrong.”

Swigert said it didn’t take him long to find the crash scene.

“I seen my truck upside down. And I seen her on the ground, dead,” he said.

Now Swigert is calling for guardrails to be put in along Jack McKinney Road, where there are numerous steep ledges along the side of the road.

“It wouldn’t have happened if there was some kind of support. But there isn’t anything and it’s like a 20-foot drop,” he explained.

Family and friends of Ravan described her as a loving mother.

“She was the perfect mom. Perfect woman to be with,” said Swigert.

A former co-worker, Jessica Pettit, gave WSPA the following statement:

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my dear friend Theresa! She was a former co-worker of mine, but more than that she was a great friend! We shared many memories and many many laughs! She was a great mommy to her babies and they loved her very much! I will miss our late night chats! My prayers go out to all of her family and friends, and especially those precious children!”

Jessica McAbee, Swigert’s sister told 7 News: “My message to the world in light of this horrible loss, [is] never ever leave the side of someone without telling them you love them. You never know if you’ll ever get the chance to say those three words again to that person.”