Port Huron Family Struggles to Recover after Catastrophic Truck Accident
Any parent would agree that watching your children suffer through physical and emotional pain is one of the very hardest things in the world. But Michelle Weston has endured watching her three children through far, far more than a standard broken bone or fever. It’s the same terrible story that appears all too often on the news: A distracted driver hits a vehicle and causes devastating injuries.
It was July 5 when Weston, her husband, and her three sons were driving from Grand Rapids to Michigan’s Adventure. They were enjoying their summer day when a semi-truck slammed into their car on southbound U-31 in Oceana County.
Oceana County Sheriff Lt. Craig Mast emphasized just how terrible the wreckage looked. “I was really waiting for a body count, I was sure any time the ambulances were going to start radioing us back letting us know this was a double or triple fatality. I still don’t know how this wasn’t a triple fatal, all three of (the boys) cheated death — it was amazing the damage they lived through.”
Four-year-old Connor, who turned five in the intensive care unit after the crash, sustained the most extensive injuries. His first surgery attempted to correct a catastrophic brain injury, and his second surgery will occur after extensive rehabilitation. Weston’s older sons suffered from a shattered ankle, concussion, and facial injuries, and her husband is recovering from a broken collarbone. Weston herself, who is expecting a baby girl in October, was not seriously injured, but has been by her family’s side throughout the entire ordeal.
As she told the Detroit Free Press, “It’s so hard to see my kids like this. People need to know they need to pay attention while they’re driving. Our lives are changed forever and ever. No parent should ever have to go through this.”
25-year-old Jonathan Ashley was driving the semi-truck that caused the crash, but he has not yet been charged with any official wrongdoing. His phone was thoroughly searched to determine if texting led to distracted driving, and his blood was drawn to be tested for intoxicants. Weston explained that they did not want to bring charges against the driver if their sons made it through their surgeries safely and if no proof was found that the driver was acting negligently when the crash occurred.
Five-year-old Connor continues to heal with the help of his community, which has raised more than $22,000 to allow his family to afford an accessible home in Port Huron.