Six siblings between the ages of 5 to 15 are now recovering in the aftermath of a tragic car accident that took the lives of their parents and left many of them with injuries.
Scott and Jennifer Owen were driving six of their seven children home from a camping trip on April 23 when the trailer attached to their SUV came undone, sending them crashing into a creek, reports WFAA.
Scott died later that day, and Jennifer succumbed to her injuries two days later.
Michaela, 15, as well as her 10-year-old brother, Dalton, were both listed in critical condition and in comas after the accident, but are on the road to recovery, according to a GoFundMe page set up for the family. The siblings recently woke up from their comas and communicated with doctors, and both are now being treated at a local rehabilitation clinic.
Their four other siblings — Mitchell, 13, Alysa, 11, Samantha, 7, and Liam, 5 — were also hurt in the crash with their injuries ranging from broken bones, concussions to cuts.
The eldest sibling, Ethan, didn’t join the family on the trip and found out about the accident from his grandmother while covering a shift at a restaurant.
“It was like someone tearing out my heart,” Ethan told WFAA. “It hurt a lot.”
The 23-year-old was then placed in the difficult position of making medical decisions for his family, such as whether to go through with an emergency surgery for his brother following the crash.
Ethan and the rest of his extended family, including his grandmother, plan to raise the children in the absence of their parents.
“I have absolutely no idea [how I am going to raise them],” Ethan told WFAA while sitting in the empty church pew where his family usually sat.
With his emotional wounds still healing, Ethan told the news outlet that he still called Jennifer’s phone on Mother’s Day, even though he knew no one would answer.
“I said, ‘I love you. I miss you very much and Happy Mother’s Day,’ ” he recalled saying.
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Donations generated from the family’s GoFundMe page will go toward Scott and Jennifer’s funeral costs, immediate needs for the children, and future tuition costs.
What is not used will be rolled into a long-term trust for the children established by the National Christian Foundation that will be managed by a third-party, the page states. Donors have contributed more than $119,000 of the family’s $250,000 goal as of Wednesday.
Scott and Jennifer were devout Christians, and the family’s home church, the First Baptist Church of Plano, has helped to organize the community around providing for the family following the tragedy.
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“Music, children’s ministry, Sunday school, everything, all our people know them,” pastor Dr. Craig Curry told CBN News. “They are a great family. The kids are here every time the doors are open.”
The church has also set up their own fund to help the family, which can be reached through their website.
“We want to support them spiritually and emotionally as well,” Curry continued, emphasizing that the family needs more than just monetary help. “We encourage people as they hear this story to pray for this family.”