A devastating accident forever changed the lives of six siblings. But when all hope seemed lost, they found new hope to move forward thanks to the kindness of their community.
In April, Scott Owen, from Garland, Texas, was taking his family on a camping trip to Sulfur Springs. Scott, his wife Jennifer, and their six youngest kids were on their way, towing a trailer full of camping gear behind them.
But then, tragedy struck. A wheel defect in the trailer caused the father to lose control of the car. Their car crashed into a pickup truck and collided with a mailbox.
The car then spiraled down into a creek, flipping over multiple times.
Police responded to the accident and discovered a grim scene.
“The car was smashed to pieces,” Officer Brandon Murphy told Inside Edition. “There was debris everywhere.”
“My first thought when I was doing CPR was, ‘Please God, please help us.'”
Scott, Jennifer, their 10-year-old son Dalton and 15-year-old daughter Michaela were all found unresponsive and had to be airlifted to Trinity Mother Frances hospital.
Miraculously, all six children survived. Dalton and Michaela were seriously injured, but the other four children in the wreck—Mitchell, 13, Alysa, 11, Samantha, 7, and Liam, 5—were all discharged with only minor injuries.
However, after the accident the children had to contend with a devastating new reality:
Both their parents were killed in the crash.
They’re now in the care of their grandparents, but losing their parents has taken a serious emotional toll on the kids: “Half the time I cry into a pillow because stress is overwhelming,” Mitchell said.
“I held their 7-year-old who said, ‘First my mommy, then my daddy. What are we gonna do?’ All I could do was hold her and say ‘it’s going to be OK,'” family friend Joy Weber told WCVB.
But in the darkness, they’ve found a light in the kindness of community members.
Many people have rallied to help the orphaned children. A local furniture company built bunk beds for the kids as they moved in with their grandparents, and a local church plans to build an addition to the house to make room for the kids.
A GoFundMe page was set up by a family friend and has raised over $142,000 so far.
“People are just so generous and they want to help,” the kids’ grandmother told Inside Edition.
And the family recently got some uplifting news: Dalton was finally discharged from the hospital.
The 10-year-old, who was found “lifeless” on the scene, spent three weeks on life support. But now, all the kids will be together and out of the hospital.
And as they celebrated getting to leave, the siblings were joined by some very special surprise guests:
The emergency workers who rescued them after the accident.
Members of the Sulphur Springs Police Department, Hopkins County Fire Department, and Hopkins County EMS arrived at the hospital—including Officer Murphy, who found Dalton and had a very special gift for him.
It was a necklace Murphy was wearing the day of the crash. “I was wearing this the day we pulled you out and I’d like you to have it,” he told Dalton. “That way, you’re always protected.”
None of this can undo the heartbreaking loss these kids have experienced, but these small acts of kindness and support from their community can go a long way in making the process a little easier. They may still face a tough road ahead, but they know they won’t face it alone.
“It makes me feel like I’m a part of this world and people care,” Mitchell said. “It’s really nice.”