We can’t even imagine going through something like this…
A Kentucky family is in mourning after a vacation to Panama City Beach, Florida went horribly wrong, leading to the deaths of their two children — a 4-year-old boy and his 6-year-old sister.
The two young siblings were playing miniature golf with their parents on Friday night at Coconut Creek Mini-Golf and Gran Maze when they were struck by a truck that had been driven onto the course. The family had been visiting from their home in Louisville, Kentucky, according to local officials. On Monday, local news reports identified the children as 4-year-old Baylor Krichgessner and 6-year-old Addie Kirchgessner.
According to local news station WLWT, authorities revealed that a man named Scott Donaldson allegedly drove his truck, a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado, onto the mini golf course in the tourist-friendly beachside community. During that drive, he apparently struck both children. Per the police reports, the 4-year-old boy was pronounced dead at the scene; his 6-year-old sisters was rushed to a local hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries, as well. So tragic — and senseless.
It wasn’t immediately clear why Donaldson drove onto the mini golf course. The Panama City Herald reported that he was driving down the road parallel to the course when he “veered from the westbound lanes of Front Beach Road and onto the Coconut Creek property,” striking the two children. Nobody else was injured in the incident.
Per the Herald, charges against the driver are “pending.” Local police continue to investigate the crash, and according to officials, they will “release more information later.”
Debbie Ward, a city spokeswoman for Panama City Beach, released a statement of mourning to WLWT:
“This is a tragic event and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. We have had grief counselors and clergy with the family since this happened.”
Coconut Creek Mini-Golf And Gran Maze remained closed on Saturday, the day after the crash, sharing the shutdown news on Facebook along with a Bible verse mourning the loss. A GoFundMe account set up for the family had raised more than $150,000 from more than 2,500 donors through Monday.
The kids’ mother, Laura Kirchgessner, expressed her thanks to the first responders and supporters online in an interview on Monday morning:
“The outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming. We’re having a terrible time, but I’m sure anyone who had to work that accident is having a terrible time.”
We can’t even imagine what it must be like for the parents to have to go through something like this, losing two children in the blink of an eye during what should have been such a fun time.
Our thoughts are with the family as they work through this unimaginable loss.
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