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Human Interest

Pregnant Utah Woman Loses Husband and Two Children in Plane Crash: ‘She’s Planning Three Funerals at Once’

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Utah mother Kristin Wells, who just learned last week that she’s expecting a baby girl, is now planning funerals for her Mormon bishop husband and two children who were killed in a plane crash over the weekend.

Randall Wells, who oversaw the LDS Church’s Mount Jordan 3rd Ward, and his 8-year-old son, Asher, and 3-year-old daughter, Sarah, died when their single-engine Cessna 172 crashed on Saturday, authorities confirmed to The Salt Lake Tribune. Their bodies were found on Monday.

“Our beloved family members Randy, Asher and Sarah passed away this weekend in a private airplane crash. Although this is a really hard time for us, we are so very grateful for the outpour of support from the community,” Kristin’s brother, Dano Gillette, tells PEOPLE in a statement.

A search party of more than 100 people — on foot, horseback, ATVs, snowmobiles, and in helicopters and airplanes  — were looking for the plane after the aircraft disappeared about 17 miles northwest of Wilson Peak, Utah, around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.

GoFundMe

“We would like to thank the Iron, Piute, Beaver, Garfield and Sevier county police departments and search and rescue teams. We would like to share our love to all of the volunteers that came out the past two days to help search. And also those who expressed their love on social media. We can’t describe how grateful we are for the closure we received and that we were able to find the plane,” Gillette continues.

According to a GoFundMe page created for Kristin, Randall was flying home from Phoenix, Arizona, with his two children when the plane crashed near Panguitch, Utah.

Asher, Randall and Sarah Wells

The organizer wrote that Kristin, who is 20 weeks pregnant, “is now tasked with the heartbreaking job of planning three funerals at once. Please help with the financial burden she is now facing on top of her devastating loss. Anything is appreciated,” the group organizer wrote.

According to the fundraising campaign, Randy was “an avid outdoorsman, who loved laughing and was an amazing father to his two children and a loving husband to Kristin. Randy was a beacon in the community, serving as bishop of the Mount Jordan 3rd Ward. The Wells are widely beloved and Kristin is a friend to everyone she meets.”

Wendy Davis, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meetinghouse that Randy oversaw, told The Salt Lake Tribune that she thought of Wells as”my friend first and my bishop second.”

Davis, who joined Kristin in prayer on Monday, added that Randy was a quiet, humble man who taught powerful lessons.

“I can’t emphasize enough what a great guy he was,” she said.