The most recent spat of below-zero temps, snow and wind, led to some horrific road conditions around the state and led to a pair of tragedies for our region. On Feb. 24, Shannah and Wendy Nelson died …
The most recent spat of below-zero temps, snow and wind, led to some horrific road conditions around the state and led to a pair of tragedies for our region. On Feb. 24, Shannah and Wendy Nelson died when their truck spun on ice and hit a semi on the Powell Highway. On Feb. 26, Sam and Natalee Smith of Lovell were seriously injured in a crash while leaving state wrestling in Casper. Sam died of his injuries last week.
For us, as local residents seeing two young women die on a road many of us drive every day was tough to see, and to know a mother lost two of her daughters, a husband his wife, a son his mother.
The Smith tragedy hits home as well, as he was a longtime sports reporter for the Lovell Chronicle, a newspaper we work closely with. Sam was a colleague many of us knew well and our own sports writer was in Casper at the same time, covering the same state tournament.
But in both cases it’s heartening to see the Powell and Lovell communities step up and support the families of those who died.
When talking with my wife about how we could help the Nelsons, she remarked that she loved living in a small town. It’s because we take care of each other. We step up and help, whether we know the people who are suffering or not.
Here are some of the ways to help:
For the Nelson family
A Nelson Family Benefit account has been set up at Bank of Powell to help the Nelsons’ family members — including the sisters’ parents, Brenda and Larry Nelson — with any financial needs. A separate Meal Train webpage, online at mealtrain.com/trains/kw0vkd, had raised more than $10,000 in donations as of Thursday, with volunteers signing up to provide meals to the family for the coming weeks.
There is also a benefit auction scheduled for March 18 at the Powell Eagles starting at 4 p.m.
For the Smith family
A benefit account has also been established at Big Horn Federal, and a Venmo account has been set up in their name. An online auction has been established on Facebook under Medical Expenses for Sam and Natalee Smith and as of March 1 had already gathered 661 group members and 88 items for auction. The auction closes on March 17.