SEATTLE -- We are learning more about the family hit by a falling tree in Olympic National Park. A 5-year-old boy was killed, and four other people are in the hospital.
It started out as a family outing over the holiday weekend. The grandkids were spending time with the grandparents at an uncle’s cabin. It was during that drive home that an evergreen tree fell on their SUV. Clallam 2 Fire says the vehicle was traveling eastbound around Lake Crescent on U.S. Highway 101 when the tree came down about 2:16 p.m Sunday, New Year's Day.
“What if they were driving faster or slower? There’s so many variables,” said father Aaron Young.
For Young, it’s hard to imagine mere seconds could have been the difference between life and death. As his parents were driving home on New Year’s Day from Olympic National Park, their SUV was hit by a falling evergreen.
“They were just having a good time, getting out of the city for a bit,” said Young.
Young is now spending the first days of the new year at Harborview Medical Center, where his mom is in a coma and his father and his 5-year-old daughter, Isabella, have broken backs.
“They’re hoping that she’ll have use of her legs again,” said Young.
His 2-year-old son, Theron, just got his breathing tube out. So much is uncertain right now it’s almost too much for Young to bear.
“Waiting for my mom to wake up. Waiting to find out what’s going to happen with my daughter, my dad, my son. There’s a lot of things I don’t have answers for right now,” said Young.
Adding to the pain, his 5-year-old nephew, Desmond, didn’t survive the accident.
“What if I was there? Would we even have been on that road?” said Young.
Those are questions Young knows he can’t answer.
“That’s not where we are at with things,” said Young.
All he can do is wait and try to be strong for his family.
“My mind’s been filled with so many questions about what’s to come in the future. You know, I don’t know how long I’ll be here waiting for them to make a recovery,” said Young.
The investigation into that crash continues. Right now it appears this was just an unfortunate, freak accident.
For more information and a chance to donate to the family's funeral expenses, click here.