Anne Callery did not know her first date with Kevin Archibald was actually a “date.” They saw a movie and ate burgers at a local restaurant before walking all over San Francisco.
“It turned out to be a long day because we were just talking and talking,” Callery said.
While it wasn’t what Callery would call “love at first sight,” the pair quickly fell into a courtship and moved in together after five months of dating. The couple married a few years later and honeymooned in Mendocino, renting a vacation cottage.
Though they resided on the bayside of San Mateo County, they often visited the coast on the weekends.
“We were busy planning our next trip, but of course we didn’t get to do that,” Callery said.
On the evening of Feb. 10, 2017, Archibald was driving back from work. He was headed north from Santa Cruz on Highway 1. Construction closed lanes on Highway 17, so Archibald was taking the longer route home.
He called Callery that night, but then service cut out and the call dropped.
A few hours later Callery’s landline phone rang. It was a medical social worker at Stanford Hospital.
Once she arrived at the hospital a social worker came out, but “instead of sitting next to me she said, ‘Let’s go here’ and took me in the little room. The little room is never good,” Callery said.
Archibald had been involved in a two-vehicle collision. The other driver, Jazz Hayhurst-Loric, who reportedly had been driving under the influence of methamphetamine, crossed the center divide, crashing head-on into Archibald’s vehicle.
Callery was instructed to call other family members and ask them to come to the hospital. Her husband’s leg was broken and he had some internal bleeding. Doctors were concerned about Archibald making it through surgery because his heart had stopped and he had to be resuscitated twice.
The surgery was successful, but Archibald also suffered damage to his brain. Ultimately, the 48-year-old was declared brain dead two days after the collision.
Callery knew her husband wanted to be an organ donor and so on Feb. 14 — which is both Valentine’s Day and National Organ Donation Day — she said goodbye to her best friend.
As part of the organ donation process, Callery said, in the operation room the surgeons read aloud a short paragraph she’d written about Kevin. “And they just had this moment of silence to honor him,” she said.
A memorial service was planned a few days later at the Palo Alto Women’s Club, where the couple married.
“It was one day after our 20th anniversary,” Callery said.
The other driver was also hospitalized. He was later charged with vehicular manslaughter, being under the influence, being in possession of a controlled substance, and driving without a valid driver’s license.
The trial started on Jan. 13, 2019. In addition to having her friends and family in the courtroom for support, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victims Advocate Marilyn McMullen accompanied Callery through the legal proceedings.
“The criminal justice system is confusing, and we try and make it easier because usually these cases take several years,” McMullen said.
MADD is a nonprofit organization that seeks to educate people to stop drunken driving and support people affected by impaired driving.
Callery said for a long time she did not want to even look at Hayhurst-Loric.
During the trial, the judge made a mistake and the case ended as a result of the double jeopardy rule, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. Double jeopardy prevents an accused person from being tried more than once on the same charges and the same facts. Wagstaffe said in his 42 years as district attorney this was the only case of double jeopardy he had witnessed.
“The judge made a mistake, but our prosecutors should have spoken up and said it was a mistake. That was our failure,” Wagstaffe said.
The order of events was devastating for Callery.
“It would have been hard if a jury had found him not guilty, but at least I would know that was the process,” Callery said. “The process got stopped because of a technicality. The whole justice system was completely subverted.”
In response, Callery recently launched a website to share her side of the story, a side that never was told to a jury. She also collected statements from Archibald’s family and friends to share. In addition, she provides information about the trial proceedings and education on impaired driving.
McMullen said Callery has volunteered on several occasions at events MADD hosts in the Bay Area.
“I just think she is so brave,” McMullen said. “I think with her website she is going to change lives and she is really quite an exceptional person.”
Two years since Archibald’s death, Callery said she is “doing alright” but she still misses him every day. “He really loved life. He just had an enthusiasm for everything,” Callery said.
Archibald’s philosophy of life was simple, “How can I help?”
“He was such a good role model and the best person I know,” she said.
To read about Callery’s story, visit www.gravemiscarriageofjustice.com