Editor’s note: This letter was submitted by Kathey Trimble-Childress. On June 6 her brother Wayne Trimble, sister-in-law Julie Trimble, and niece Heather Trimble were killed in a chain reaction wreck between five cars that left five dead in total.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017, started out a normal day for all of us. We got up, took care of our children, went to work, and ran errands. At approximately 4:00 p.m., all of that changed.

It literally took hours for the State Troopers to locate next of kin. Thanks to their persistence, and the persistence of friends and co-workers of Heather’s, notification was finally made. Next came the countless phone calls that needed to be made to notify immediate family. You see, Wayne comes from a very large family of nine children that are widespread throughout the United States. At this point, we had very limited details, so those phone calls took a while.

As you all know, Wayne and Julie were declared dead at the scene. Heather and her daughter Matilda were transported to a local hospital, where Heather’s baby girl Hadley was delivered via emergency C-section. By the grace of God both Matilda and Hadley are both doing amazing. Both little girls are with their fathers who are taking fantastic care of them given the circumstances. Jheremy and James, Heather is so very proud of you, of this I’m sure.

I’ll be honest when I say that June 6-15, 2017, the time between the accident and when Heather passed away, is somewhat of a blur. Some things I remember with great detail, others it seems, I was just going through the motions. What I, and the other members of my family, as well as the members of James Gardner’s family do remember is the outpouring of love, compassion and generosity of family, friends and complete strangers. It is this support that urged me to write this letter of gratitude to you, our Village.

On behalf of the entire Trimble family and the family of James Gardner, we send a huge thank you to:

- The entire emergency response team (state troopers, local fire department, EMS);

- Heather’s employer and co-workers at CareNow, specifically her supervisor Sean Barron;

- The hospital staff at Medical City Plano (the ER team, Delivery team, Trauma ICU team, NICU team, as well as all support staff and administration). There are way too many to name, but the medical care that both Heather and Hadley received was top notch. The entire staff truly poured their hearts and souls into caring for our loved ones;

- Children’s Hospital that cared for Matilda after she was transported there;

- Our employers, who without hesitation, allowed each of us to take extended time off. For this, we could not be more thankful;

- And finally, to our extended family, friends, and the hundreds upon hundreds of strangers who have cared for us, visited us, prayed for and with us, and have generously donated to the GoFundMe accounts or sent care packages. It truly does take a village, and our village is strong!

While we still have a very long road ahead of us, with the continued support of our Village, we will prevail.

Kathey Trimble-Childress was a longtime resident of Irving, Texas. She currently lives out of state.