Prairie View

Sunday, September 05, 2010


This has been a heartbreaking day because of an accident that took the life of one child from our sister church (Cedar Crest), and left three others injured. Two of the children who were injured were the sisters of the boy who died. I also grieve for the kind young man who was the driver of the tractor that had been used for a Sunday School outing involving a hayride. He was my student in years past, and he is certainly not a careless, risk-taking person by nature. I'm so sorry this happened on his watch. He's Shane's age.

Several of the children were apparently riding in a front end bucket when the bucket unaccountably tipped and dumped the children in front of the moving tractor. There were only children from two families present at that point because all the rest had been picked up by their parents. These children lived close to the driver's home and he had offered to drop them off on his own way home with the tractor.

All the children in Sunday School had a picnic at Brian and Sherilyn's place. I don't know for sure, but guess that they had driven to the picnic from church on the back of the hay wagon. This was a distance of perhaps six miles. They were only about a mile and a half from the picnic site, on their way home, when the accident happened.

The accident happened a mile directly east of our place. We caught on that something was amiss when a parade of emergency vehicles went past our place. Then we saw cars lining up on the north/south road (Herren) near the intersection. Later two helicopters flew in and then took off again.

Willard and Sharon live at the intersection near where the accident happened and were on the scene almost right away, having been alerted when a nearly incoherent sibling of the injured children burst into the house and said his brother had been run over. I'm sure they have a lot of difficult images to deal with too. Their daughter Andrea was the schoolteacher last year of one of the injured girls.

At this point, it appears that none of the three injured children have life-threatening injuries, but one of them has a broken pelvis, and several of them have bad bruises and scrapes--one of them on the arm near the shoulder, and the other about the face and neck.

The family with the death and two injuries has five children in one grade in school. The father is a doctor, and the family was built by birth and adoption. The child who died was born to them, as was one of the injured daughters. In the family, there were three homemade children and five who are African American or Asian.

The only other injured child was involved in another serious accident a year or two ago when he fell onto a welded wire cattle panel and was impaled on a thin rod that punctured his chest and came very close to piercing his heart. So this was his second emergency-vehicle transport to Wichita. The first time was by helicopter and this time by ambulance. He has a badly bruised upper arm/shoulder this time around. I'm thinking there's no need to explore and experience any other options for emergency transport to Wichita. Derek has been there, done that.

We spent the evening at Joel and Hilda's house with Shane and Dorcas and Grant present too. It was a very pleasant evening with our family, and I'm more aware than usual that this gift is not everyone's experience tonight. My heart aches for those who have sorrow and pain in their family tonight , and my prayers continue.


  • Only two small corrections. It happened on Riverton Rd. and also, Andrea is still Maggie's teacher. Yes, it was a trauma-filled three hours, but we were glad we could be there to help, even if sleep is mostly evading us. -Sharon

    By Anonymous Sharon Mast, at 9/06/2010  

  • What a difficult time. Praying for the family, all involved and the student body.

    By Anonymous Linda L., at 9/06/2010  

  • Heartbreaking indeed. Am praying for healing and comfort for everyone involved. I even lost sleep about it last night, and I don't even really know the people involved.

    By Blogger Dorcas Byler, at 9/06/2010  

  • Thank you for your kind and gracious description of the driver. We certainly echo those sentiments!! We are deeply grieving too for both families, and feel somewhat responsible ourselves.
    One very minor correction... the adults present at the picnic delivered the children home instead of parents picking them up. And yes, we did have the traditional (for C.C.)hayrack ride here.

    By Anonymous Sherilyn, at 9/06/2010  

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