We have updated the story to show that Abby Hett was 11 years old.
SALINA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Highway Patrol says three people died, including a pastor from central Kansas and his 11-year-old daughter, in a weekend head-on crash on I-135 near Salina.
The patrol says the crash happened around 1:30 p.m. Sunday about eight miles south of Salina. Investigators say a northbound pickup truck, driven by 24-year-old Christopher Giroux of Salina, crossed the interstate median into southbound lanes and collided with another pickup truck.
Giroux was killed, as was the driver of the other vehicle, 39-year-old Phillip Hett, and his 11-year-old daughter Abigail Hett.
Phillip Hett’s 13-year-old daughter Jillian was also in his truck and was rushed to a hospital with serious injuries.
Phillip was a pastor at Bethan Village, a retirement community in Lindsborg. Brother-in-law Tony Peck said Phil loved to read and was a goofy and fun dad.
“He always was learning and doing something, and he was just really awesome. With the girls, you know, he was just a great dad,” said Peck.
Peck said Abby was in the band, played soccer, and was going to play volleyball.
“Abby, she was a spunky, little Spitfire,” he said. “She loved everybody, and she was such a big heart and such a warm heart.”
When the crash happened, the car caught fire. Peck said he was told some Good Samaritans kicked out the back window of the truck and rushed to save Jill.
“It was so close because she did get burned just a little bit, the fire was coming, but they got her out in time just got a little bit on her ankle,” said Peck. “She wouldn’t be with us if it wasn’t for them, and we are thanking God and them, and hopefully, we can find out who they were because that we owe them a lot.”
Peck said if anyone knows who those strangers are, to reach out because the family could not imagine having one less hug to give at the end of the day.
The Hett family has shared a message thanking everyone for their support during this difficult time. If anyone wants to help with medical and funeral expenses, send donations to the Jillian and Abby Hett Fund at Farmers State Bank of Lindsborg, Kansas.