GoFundMe Created for Family of Casper Teenager Killed in Car Accident Raises 14K in 5 Hours
It is the worst thing a parent could ever have to deal with. The death of a child is something that nobody should ever have to experience, especially when the child is so, so young.
Unfortunately, the parents of a 15-year-old Casper student are currently experiencing just that.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol announced on Tuesday that a fatal crash occurred at milepost 98 on Wyoming 220, west of Casper on October 31.
According to a release from WHP Sergeant Jeremy Beck, "A 1993 International commercial-style dump truck was headed east, while a 2001 Mitsubishi Galant was westbound on Wyoming 220. The Mitsubishi drifted across the centerline and collided head-on with the dump truck."
The release noted that the driver of the dump truck was identified as 47-year-old Dustin Geiger. Geiger was wearing his seatbelt and was not injured in the collision.
The driver of the Mitsubishi, however, succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
Because the driver was a juvenile, the Wyoming Highway Patrol did not identify him by name and, for the purposes of this article, neither will K2 Radio News.
The young man's death sent shockwaves through the city, with hundreds of social media commenters offering their condolences. One person, a woman named Lisa Klaesges created a GoFundMe page to help with the burden of the costs associated with the boy's death.
"The [REDACTED] family suffered a devastating loss on October 31st 2022 when their teenage son was lost in a motor vehicle accident on his way home from school," the description of the GoFundMe stated. "This page is being set up as a way for friends and family to help ease the financial burden of their child's funeral expenses while they focus on the immense emotional burden caused by this tragic event without added worry."
Klaesges stated that she created the page because she couldn't imagine how devastating it would be to lose a child, and she just wanted to do something to help.
"I started the page because [the teen's parents], are wonderful people, great community members, and amazing parents," Klaesges told K2 Radio News. "No one should ever have to go through this pain. As a bystander and mother to [his] 2 older sisters, I feel helpless knowing that they are suffering. Not only will this page help [his] family bear the financial burden of the funeral expenses, but it is also a way for others whose hearts ache to be able to do something kind, show the family support, and feel a little less helpless."
Many people wanted to help. The GoFundMe was only created about 5 hours ago, as of the time of this writing. It had a $15,000 goal. In those 5 hours, $14,80 has been raised.
This rapidity in which the money has raised speaks to both the people of Casper, and to the character of the young man and his family.
"[He] was a hard working, responsible, genuinely sweet boy with a passion and talent for hunting and fishing that was evident and inspiring to everyone that met him," Klaesges stated. "It's a tragedy that in a split second he has been taken from this world."
No amount of money in the world will make this situation better. No amount will be able to bring him back. But maybe, hopefully, the funds raised will show this young man's parents just how much their son was loved, how much they are loved. And maybe it will show them that even if it feels like it right now, they are not alone in this.