WICHITA, Kan. -- A Wichita family is struggling to cope with the loss of a loving father killed Friday in what police have called a "freak accident" in Old Town involving a freight elevator.
Family members say the man killed was Joshua Loux, 41, a father of seven children. The children range in age from 5 to 21.
"My littlest said this morning, 'Is daddy going to come home today? Is he coming home yet mom?' How do you explain to a 5-year-old, that he's never coming home again?" his wife, Bethany Loux, said.
Bethany says Josh had just started his job two weeks to the day before the accident. She says he was very excited to be working full-time again because he had been unemployed for two years after being laid off.
Family members say he was working with Restoration and Waterproofing Contractors to help convert space into apartments in Old Town.
Bethany says the opportunity meant the world to him because all he wanted was to provide for his family.
"He was very excited and we didn't have any worries. But it was short-lived," Bethany said.
On Friday, Bethany says she and her children decided to take Josh to work for the first time. Just hours later they would learn he had been involved in the accident at 10:30 a.m. in the 100 block of N. Rock Island and that he had not survived.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the City of Wichita's Office of Central Inspection are still investigating the accident.
"That was the one day we got up and went to work together so the kids did get to say 'good bye' like they typically wouldn't in the morning," Bethany said. "Somebody was watching out (for us) and the kids got to see him. That's a little bit comforting."
But she says that little bit of comfort can't ease the tremendous emotional pain she and her children now feel.
She says the fact remains that Josh, the hard-working husband and caring father who loved animals, the zoo, and the outdoors is never coming home.
"All he was doing that day was working as hard as he could to provide for us," Bethany said. "Now he's gone and that's not right."
Because Josh had just started his job, the family did not yet have benefits or insurance.
A fund has been set up to help the family with expenses, including paying for Joshua's funeral. To donate, please visit
their fundraising page here
The family says because Joshua must be cremated, they are hoping to create a memorial for him at the Sedgwick County Zoo -- the last place where the whole family had spent time together.