WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s been a week of dealing with a tragedy for the family of Justin Nelson. They were traveling from Booker, Texas to Justin’s parents house in Enterprise, Kansas. What was supposed to be a weekend of fishing, and back to school shopping has turned into an ordeal, as his surviving family members recover from a terrible crash and hold onto their memories of Justin.
“Seeing Trisha and Chase get better has improved everyone’s spirit,” said Terry Engler, Justin’s Father-in-law.
Trisha and her 12-year-old son Chase Nelson were severely injured in a car accident on Friday, August 9. Her husband of almost 17 years, Justin, didn’t survive.
“It was almost like a nightmare that never seemed to end,” said Engler.
They were traveling along K-156 in Ellsworth County when a F-150 swerved to keep from hitting another truck but ended up crashing head on into the Nelson’s F-150.
“If you were able to see the wreckage it would let you know that it was a miracle that anybody got out of that wreck,” said Engler.
Trisha and Chase are both recovering at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. Trisha had to undergo surgery to fix a punctured colon and intestines and Chase suffered five broken ribs and other fractures. 13-year-old Tristan and 5-year-old Kyndall suffered minor injuries.
“As grateful as we are to have Trisha and grandkids our heart just aches to know that Justin isn’t with us anymore,” said Engler. “He was the brightest light in any room you ever walked in.”
Justin grew up in Enterprise, Kansas and his wife in Satanta, Kansas. They lived in the Wichita area for many years before moving to Booker, Texas.
41-year-old Justin was a man his father-in-law said was loved by all and a selfless father even to the very end.
“When the oncoming car veered into their lane, Justin veered to the right to take the blunt of the impact on himself to protect the rest of his family,” Engler said.
Their faith is what the family said will carry them as they adjust to living life without Justin.
“The hand of the Lord has definitely been upon this family and we’re just so appreciative of all the prayers that have come our way,” Engler said.
Chase has been released from the hospital and the mother is expected to be released soon.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help with expenses.