12:34 PM PDT, July 9, 2021
A young heartbroken Kansas father, whose pregnant wife was killed in a car crash this week, called their baby who miraculously survived the four-vehicle crash “the most beautiful gift of life.”
“Words cannot explain or express the emotions going through everyone’s head today,” Brandon Russell wrote on Facebook. “Sammy was taken from us but left behind the most beautiful gift of life.”
Twenty-two-year-old Samantha Russell was waiting to make a left-hand turn at an intersection when a man fleeing from the police ran a red traffic light and slammed into Russell’s 2003 Dodge Ram on Tuesday shortly before 5 p.m., according to Kansas Highway Patrol.
The expectant mother was 33 weeks pregnant when she died. The baby was due in August, the Wichita Eagle reported.
The collision that took place at the intersection at Central and Ridge involved a total of four vehicles. Russell was the only person who died, Highway Patrol said.
The baby was delivered prematurely hours after the crash, the Eagle reported.
Brandon, who is in the Air Force, and Samantha, who was a realtor and sold custom hand-stamped jewelry online, had recently purchased a new home, the news outlet reported.
Russell said in a Facebook post that Samantha was “going to be a fantastic mother,” and described her as a “driven and the hardest worker I knew,” who showed happiness to everyone and anyone that she knew.
“She will always be my wife and the person I turn to when I need advice or to ask another one of my dumb questions,” he wrote. “I love you, Samantha Russell. You are everything to me.”
Wichita police said the driver who caused the fatal crash is under arrest and could face a murder charge, the Eagle reported.
Russell told the Eagle that his son, who he named Mac, initially “was not doing so great,” but said he has since improved “and is expected to pull through,” but remains hospitalized.
“Samantha was an amazing individual who left an impact on everyone she met. Please consider donating something to assist the family in this time of tragedy and please keep them in your prayers,” Wuest wrote. “I had the privilege of working with Samantha as her Broker at JPAR – Leading Edge. All funds will be used to support the baby, Brandon (her husband), and the unexpected financial burden they now face.”
As of Friday afternoon, nearly $83,000 has been raised, surpassing their original goal of $75,000.