FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Tennessee family spent what would be their final hours together playing in the snow and sledding before a tragic accident claimed the life of a mother and son.
“We had a really good day together. We took videos and pictures. I didn’t know it would be our last family picture,” John Clark told 8News sister station News 2.
Later Monday night, Clark’s 34-year-old wife Kristi and his 10-year-old stepson, Carter Oakley, left the house to go to the grocery store.
It was supposed to be a quick trip, but Kristi and Carter never made it home.
Clark said he got concerned and contacted the Franklin Police Department.
He later learned his wife and stepson had been involved in a serious accident after stopping to help the passengers of an SUV that hit a patch of black ice and overturned on Interstate 65.
Kristi and Carter were standing outside their vehicle when they were hit by a semi.
Carter died at the scene. Kristi passed away a short time later at Williamson Medical Center.
Wednesday morning, Kristi’s husband told News 2 he was not surprised to learn his wife stopped to help the stranded motorists and she died as she lived – helping others.
“There’s not an ounce of her that would have allowed her to drive past the accident,” Clark said.
Kristi, a Michigan native, and John, from Columbia, got married in September 2010.
He told News 2 Kristi was “stubborn, fiery, feisty and independent.”
“People always say He broke the mold when He made Kristi. There was no other person like her,” Clark told News 2.
The couple has a daughter together, 4-year-old Adelyn.
Kristi also leaves behind a stepson and stepdaughter, ages 11 and 7.
“We loved each other deeply. To say that we are experiencing a huge loss is an understatement,” Clark said. “I am devastated by the loss. I am devastated that we won’t see a future together. We can’t watch our children grow up together, see grandchildren, all of those things.”
He said he had a close relationship with Carter, a student at Oak View Elementary School in Williamson County. He was in the fourth grade.
Carter loved sports and was very athletic. He played football for several years in the Franklin Cowboys Youth League.
Dale Nichols, president of the organization, told News 2 Carter “was an exceptional kid who will be greatly missed.”
He had also just been selected for the youth baseball league majors in the Franklin Baseball Club.
In a statement to News 2, Oak View PTA President Jennifer Jannetty said, “The Oak View community is deeply saddened over the loss of Carter and his mother.”
Kristi, who worked for Alfa Insurance in Franklin, was passionate about becoming an organ donor. Unfortunately, because of her injuries, her organs were not salvageable.
Clark said he has been overwhelmed by the amount of support the family has received, including calls from strangers in other states offering their condolences.
Funeral arrangements are not complete but will be under the direction of the Williamson Memorial Funeral Home in Franklin.
Friends of the family have set up a GoFundMe account to help cover funeral costs and raise money for the couple’s young daughter.
Franklin police have not released the identities of the individuals in the SUV or the name of the truck driver.
Two other people were hurt in the accident and remain hospitalized.
A spokesperson for the Franklin Police Department said Tuesday afternoon they were listed in stable condition.