BOWDOIN — Karen Paraskevakos fought back tears as she answered the phone Tuesday evening. Just hours after learning that the driver involved in the fatal crash with her 25-year-old son, Richard, was charged with operating under the influence, the Bowdoin woman wanted nothing more than to remember her son as she loved him best.
"He's got two kids. Well, he's got one on the way and a 2½-year-old daughter," Paraskevakos said. "That was his whole life. He loved being a dad."
She shared fond memories of the young man she said wanted nothing more than to work with his father's family business from the time he was 15 years old, stepped up to the plate when his first child was born and was making wedding plans for next summer following the birth of his second child with fiancée Marissa Winkler.
Richard Paraskevakos died Monday night as the result of a 6:45 p.m. crash on Route 125 in Bowdoin. Wade Foster, 35, of Lewiston turned left in front of the Lisbon man and was later charged with operating under the influence, police said.
"This morning when I woke up, I was kind of feeling sorry for this guy," Karen Paraskevakos said of Foster. "And then I found out he was drunk, and I'm not sorry for him anymore. I'm not a vengeful person. I don't want to see him dead for taking my son, but I want to see him punished."
Paraskevakos called her son's daughter and unborn child his greatest pleasures in life. She said her granddaughter spent every weekend with her son and that he looked forward to the following Friday every Sunday when he dropped her off.
"He lived for his daughter on the weekend," Paraskevakos said through sobs giving way to chuckles as she talked about her son's relationship with his daughter. "He spoiled her. He just couldn't say no to her. She'd say 'Daddy want that,' and he'd just pull over and buy it for her."
She said that her son and granddaughter even carved pumpkins the previous weekend.
In addition to motorcycles, Paraskevakos said her son was also into bike riding and even bought a child seat so that he could take his daughter out on the trails in Lisbon. He was also a big New England Patriots fan and diehard NASCAR follower, especially of driver Jeff Gordon.
Richard Paraskevakos worked for his father's business, SKP Siding,
from the time he was 15 years old and even opted to go to work full
time for his dad rather than go to college.
"He just never had a bad word no matter what anybody said to him," Karen Paraskevakos said of her son's even temper. "He'd apologize even if it wasn't his fault. He had a heart of gold and would give the shirt off his back for people."