Douglass Rallies to Support Families of Car Crash Victims

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email

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It's all a blur for Terry Kaylor.

"Having to work that day, having to help my dad, that's my last memory," Kaylor said.

But on the morning of July 1st on his way to work at his father's farm in Mulvane he crashed on 95th Street South just a half-mile west of Rose Hill Road.

Almost six weeks after being severely injured, Kaylor, 20, is back in Douglass with his friends.

"I'm doing good now," Kaylor said. "There's no pain or anything. I'm just waiting until I can take this (neck) brace off."

He says his neck brace should come off at the end of this month. That means his recovery is well ahead of schedule.

"They told me he would be at Madonna hospital in Nebraska for six to eight weeks and we finished in exactly three weeks," Terry's mother Lana said.

Lana says they've returned from the Nebraska hospital to find the community rallying together following a string of car crashes involving young people.

During an eight-day period in late June and early August, Terry was injured and two other young people were killed in three separate car accidents.

Young people from Douglass have also been involved in fatal crashes in 2011 and 2007.

"It's a small town but you still don't know everybody and a lot of the nice things that have happened are from people we didn't even really know to start with," Lana Kaylor said.

Fundraisers have brought in hundreds of dollars for the families of those killed.

Community members are also selling orange T-Shirts, decals, and bracelets to support the Oliver's.

A Quarter Mania fundraiser Thursday brought in $1,745 for the Kaylor family.

The BBQ, Raffle, and Silent Auction fundraiser Sunday in Douglass brought in more than $700 to be split among the families of Victor Oliver and Terry Kaylor.

"It's a relif because I know there are going to be a lot of hospital bills coming in the mail any day," Lana Kaylor said.

Organizers such as Cindy Houser and Jenni O'Crowley say relief is exactly what they're trying to provide.

"That's our main goal: to get as much money raised to help the families wherever they need it," O'Crowley said.

O'Crowley says the fundraisers have also been a time for healing. But there's still a long road ahead.

On Saturday night, the night before the BBQ fundraiser, there was another crash in Douglass involving teenagers. Families say, thankfully, nobody was hurt in those crashes. They say they're praying local youth see the very real dangers on the road and take precautions such as fastening their seatbelt.

"Everybody is on edge, anytime they hear those sirens go out of town, there's phone calls and text messages: 'Where are you? What are you doing?' Just to make sure everybody is ok," O'Crowley said.

The Oliver's and Kaylor's say they'll be ok, thanks to the people of Douglass.

"I know in small towns like Douglass, you have just really every day people who have the capacity to love each other greatly and that's what they've shown us," Lana Kaylor said.

Community members say they will continue to sell items to help raise funds for the families. Many of the items will be on sale during Frontier's Day in October.
Editor's note: In the original web story, Mr. Haaga's name was spelled incorrectly. We apologize for the error.

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