Tenn. Dad of 1-Month-Old Baby Killed on His Way to Church After Stopping to Help Car Crash Victim

"He was always joking. He was always trying to make everybody smile. He literally lit up the room," Taylor Lemka said of her husband Tristan

Tristan Lemka
Tristan Lemka. Photo: Facebook

A Tennessee mother is grieving the loss of her husband after he was killed helping others in need.

Tristan was "always caring about everybody else" so it was no surprise that he stopped to help the other motorist after getting in a car accident on Sunday, Taylor Lemka told ABC affiliate WATE.

Unfortunately, that selfless decision by Tristan, 22, was the very thing that led to his tragic death after he was struck by another car on Highway 160, according to a crash report obtained by the outlet.

The incident happened as Tristan was on his way to church — and just one month after he and his wife welcomed their daughter, Taytum.

"He cried. He was super excited," Taylor recalled to WATE of Tristan expecting a daughter. "He wanted a boy. But, as soon as she came out she was, he was wrapped around her finger."

Tristan Lemka
Tristan Lemka. Facebook

According to the report obtained by WATE, the crash happened right after 8 p.m. on the southbound lane of Highway 160.

Following the collision, officials said Tristan, of Morristown, went to help the other driver, whose vehicle came to a rest in the left lane of the road. Tristan's unoccupied vehicle was then struck by another car and was pushed into him as he was rendering aid to the motorist, WATE reported.

Taylor was later notified of the tragic incident while she was at her mother's house, she told WATE.

"I was at my Mammy's house and I have a Ring doorbell," she explained. "And the cops told me over my Ring doorbell."

According to Taylor, Tristan was on his way to church at the time of the crash, and he had been serving as a fill-in pastor or preaching by request since 2018.

"He didn't think he was a good one. But he was," she said of Tristan, who also traveled to the Philippines to preach.

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Though he was passionate about his faith, Tristan's title of "dad" was the thing he loved most in life, Taylor said.

"Every time he would come home, he would always take [our daughter] away from me and just talk to her for like an hour," she told WATE. "He was always joking. He was always trying to make everybody smile. He literally lit up the room."

Taylor said her husband, who she had known for years and started dating towards the end of high school, also enjoyed video games, trips to Walmart and singing, WATE reported.

On Monday, following the fatal crash, Taylor expressed her devastation in a post on Facebook.

"My sweet Tristan, there's no words to explain how much I love you," she wrote. "You were taken away from us way too soon. I know you're up there watching over me and Taytum."

"Don't worry, Taytum is going to grow up knowing that she has the best daddy around," she continued. "I'll always love you. See you someday after while, baby"

While there are many things that she hopes to share about Tristan, Taylor told WATE that she will make it her mission to ensure that her daughter knows "just how good of a person he was."

"And how caring he was. And how loving he was," she added.

Visitation hours for Tristan are scheduled for Friday at Roe Junction Missionary Baptist Church from 5- 7 p.m., followed by a funeral service, according to WATE.

The family is asking that any memorial donations be sent to "Roe Junction Missionary Baptist Church 2140 Sulpher Springs Rd., Morristown, TN 37813."

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